High school student in Gilroy tests positive for COVID-19 after attending house party

Gilroy school district officials say recent social media posts show exactly what students should not do in the age of COVID. Upwards of 200 kids from Christopher High School and Gilroy High School gathered for a private house party. The event took place October 16. Subsequently, one of the attendees tested positive for COVID-19.

“It doesn’t take many people to lead to a whole number of other infections,” said Dr. Jake Scott, an infectious diseases expert at Stanford University.

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He said one COVID-positive person at a party can result in dozens of tangential infections.

“Something called the reproductive number, the R-not. Which is basically the average number one person can infect,” said Scott. “One person could potentially spread it to a thousand people.”

In response to positive infection, the Gilroy Unified School District and Santa Clara County Public Health Department advised all 14-to-18 year old students get tested for COVID at the South County Annex.

“…This was an additional step that we wanted to take to just be extra sure that everyone was getting the testing they needed, by setting up an immediate testing site that was specifically available for the families and the students,” said Betty Duong, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County Emergency Operations Center.

School district officials say all athletic conditioning activities are canceled thru November 2. Education experts say all districts, even those like Gilroy’s, which only offer distance learning, have a hard time influencing student’s choices while away from campus.

“As teachers, as educators, we always want to encourage them to practice safety during this situation because, COVID doesn’t care what you look like. And it’s really affecting families left and right,” said Yvonne Alexander, a teacher and education expert.

Officials say an infected person may not show COVID symptoms for up to 14 days after exposure. And some may be asymptomatic. The district superintendent says this incident has not altered discussions to resume in-person learning, sometime after the first of the year.