‘I just hope we stay safe …:’ Austin High band member one of 34 in coronavirus quarantine

Superintendent Dr. Michael Douglas tells WAAY 31's Casey Albritton after students were told to quarantine on Friday, the band room was sanitized using a fogger.

Posted: Aug 11, 2020 9:14 PM
Updated: Aug 12, 2020 7:19 AM

Shock and disappointment. That's what a member of the Austin High School band told us she felt after the Decatur school announced two people in the band had coronavirus.

Now those two, plus 32 others, will start the new school year on Wednesday in quarantine instead of with their classmates.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Douglas tells WAAY 31's Casey Albritton after students were told to quarantine on Friday the band room was sanitized using a fogger, and when it comes to the students who were not exposed, it's up to families to decide if they are comfortable with them returning to band practice on Thursday.

"He texted us in the group chat and it was kind of late at night and he was like 'Hey, I just got a call saying I have coronavirus,'" said high school sophomore, Jada McClendon.

Austin High School sophomore Jada McClendon says she was shocked to learn two of her friends who play in the marching band with her tested positive for Coronavirus.

"One of them was actually in my section, the trumpet," said McClendon.

She says all Summer long she had been looking forward to the first day of school, but now she has to quarantine for 14 days.

"I was kind of disappointed, because I've been quarantined since about march now and band was kind of my way out, plus school," said McClendon.

McClendon wasn't the only one surprised that 34 students in the high school now have to isolate.

"I know we are all trying to do the best we can with wearing the mask and washing hands and distancing and what-not, but sometimes it just happens," said parent, Terri Stover.

Terry Stover volunteers with the marching band and has a daughter who plays clarinet. She says it's upsetting to see so many students impacted by the pandemic.

"I hate it for anyone, whether they are in band or another part of the school," said Stover.

Superintendent Douglas says although the district is doing all it can to keep children safe, he expects more cases as the year goes on.

"Those two cases probably happened outside of school so all of the measures we are taking inside school, we can't control what people are doing outside of school," said Douglas.

Both McClendon and Stover say although they are upset, safety is the priority.

"We are just playing it day by day, hoping for the best," said Stover.

"I just hope we stay safe and don't have to worry about many more people catching it," said McClendon.

The district says students in band are staying six feet apart and wearing masks when not playing their instruments.

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