40 principals met to discuss reopening schools. They were all exposed to coronavirus.

Empty classroom.
(Image credit: iStockphoto)

Reopening schools this fall isn't going to be easy — or perhaps even possible.

If that fact wasn't obvious enough, a meeting of principals in districts outside San Francisco sure drove it home. When more than 40 administrators in the South Bay area met in mid-June to discuss safely reopening schools, they all soon had to self-quarantine because they were exposed to COVID-19, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

A health order mandates "only those employees performing job duties that they cannot feasibly perform from home may come to a business's facility to work" in Santa Clara county, where the meeting happened. So principals and school board members questioned why around 45 people would be meeting indoors. Superintendent Stella Kemp maintained that "the complexity required in the development of our reopening plan" meant the meeting would have to happen in person, the Chronicle reports.

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But just a few days after everyone came together, one attendee, who showed no COVID-19 symptoms at the time, tested positive for the virus. Everyone who was there has since quarantined and been tested for COVID-19, and Kamp said no one she knew of had tested positive since. Still, it illustrates why health officials advise people to keep avoiding large gatherings, and an ironic example of just how hard it's going to be to get back to normal anytime soon.

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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.