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Cathedral Catholic postpones start of school due to COVID-19 exposure

President says the first day of school, which was supposed to be Monday, will still happen next week

Cathedral Catholic High School is delaying its first day of school because several staff have to quarantine after a vaccinated employee tested positive for COVID-19, a school official said Thursday, Aug. 12.

Classes were supposed to start on Monday, Aug. 16. But on Wednesday, Aug. 11, administrators learned of the employee’s positive case, said Kevin Calkins, president of the school, which is located in Carmel Valley.

No vaccination can provide 100 percent protection against a virus. But the COVID-19 vaccines are a strong layer of protection and significantly decrease the likelihood of catching the virus and being hospitalized.

The positive employee had potentially come into contact with several coworkers at a staff retreat on Monday, Aug. 9, Calkins said.

The school doesn’t know yet of any other COVID-19 cases among those employees, he added.

Out of caution, San Diego County health officials recommended to Cathedral that the school quarantine everyone who was in the room with the employee during the retreat for 10 days, Calkins said. California’s COVID-19 quarantine rules say that close contacts don’t have to isolate if they are fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic.

Calkins would not disclose how many employees have to quarantine. But he said it was a large enough number that the school was unable to staff back-to-school orientations this week and start classes Monday, Aug. 16.

“It’s super frustrating. We’re frustrated, I’m frustrated, parents are frustrated because no one wanted to start school this way,” Calkins said. “But you know, we have to be humble too about the current situation. COVID’s not over. We just have to continue to prioritize wellness and the health and safety of all people and figure out how to live with a COVID world.”

Calkins said he expects the first day of school will only be delayed a couple of days or so. The first day of school will still happen next week, he said.

Cathedral Catholic enrolls about 1,600 students in grades 9-12 and has about 200 employees.


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