Monday was a whirlwind of Covid-related quarantine information regarding 312 students. From the initial news that the entire football team and staff were quarantined through Oct. 1 to the Sedgwick County Health Department’s investigation revealing only the freshman team would be quarantined along with a few junior varsity and varsity members.
Principal Tim Hamblin sat down with yearbook senior sports editor Blake Chadwick to give him a timeline of how the events played out over a 13-hour stretch on Monday.
“At 7:15 we were notified that two students at Derby High tested positive for Covid-19.”
While the health department considers close contact to be people who are within six feet away for 10 minutes, it’s different for athletics.
So now the health department, school nurse Christy Higginbotham and various administrators had to contact close contacts.
“Both individuals play football. Sedgwick County told us that we have to pull the entire program to be able to investigate this completely.
“We realize that 300 kids were probably going to have to be quarantined.”
Higginbotham met with every close contact student in the auditorium, and they realized, according to Hamblin: “This is going to take us forever.”
“I called the football team into a separate space (the gym). And since football is considered a social group under the Sedgwick County rules, (I told them that) means everybody is gone for 14 days.
“Throughout the afternoon, Sedgwick County kept investigating. And around 8:30 (p.m.), they released a statement that said that only 94 people would have to be quarantined instead of 312.
“In the end, the entire freshman team is quarantined. And a few JV/Varsity players, maybe 7 were to be quarantined. And all of the students in the classroom that were to be quarantined were still to be in quarantine.
“We then sent an email out to all the families that their students could come back to school after taking the right precautions.
“Sedgwick County needs us to get kids out as soon as possible so they can start their investigation and buy them time so they can see who truly is a close contact and needs to quarantine.
“The thing I am most thrilled about is that 218 students are now back and not having to deal with all the synchronous learning.
“I think there is an opportunity to evaluate and identify things that worked well or things that we can do better.
“I think it was kind of a frustrating day for some people, because you hear one information and then you hear something different.
“We followed exactly what we were supposed to do.
“(At) 8 that night they come back with a complete flipping of their original direction, and I think that Sedgwick County could share that information on the news so people could see that this is how we are going to handle stuff in schools.”