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Broward private school student tests positive for coronavirus

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A boy who is an eighth-grade student at Westminster Academy, a private school in Fort Lauderdale, underwent a coronavirus test after a relative tested positive, and he too was diagnosed with COVID-19.

According to Joel Satterly, the school’s headmaster, the school staff on Sunday quickly notified the families of students who may have been in direct contact with the student.

On Monday evening, the Florida Department of Health in Broward County also notified the parents of all of Westminster Academy’s eighth-grade students.

Blake J. Matthews, a spokesman for the school, referred to authorities’ additional calls as “confusing and conflicting” because “this is an isolated incident with little potential exposure to other students.”

Amid heated public debate over the safety of reopening schools, Westminster Academy reopened classrooms Aug. 12. The school used Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church property to adapt to social distancing requirements. They also provided parents with a remote learning option; Matthews said only 10% of students are using it.

President Donald Trump, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Gov. Ron DeSantis have urged Florida schools to reopen classrooms. With a higher testing positivity rate in the area, public schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties decided to start the school year with remote learning.

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