Mariner High School student accidentally told to quarantine by DOH
Many Lee County parents knew it was a possibility that their children could be sent home and forced to quarantine. It’s happening to entire classrooms after just one reported case at Mariner High School in Cape Coral.
Greg Guminski got the call most parents have been dreading. His daughter had been exposed to COVID-19 and was now being asked to quarantine for 14 days.
“I had a lot of questions: How did they decide? Who decided? Who was the person who had the positive test?” he asked.
Without any answers from the Department of Health, Guminski had to figure out how to break the news to his twelfth-grade daughter.
“She [was] crying her eyes out in bed, because she couldn’t be in school, she didn’t know if she could go back to school,” Guminski said.
Madison wasn’t happy, to say the least.
“I can’t have any interaction with my parents, any interaction with my sister, any interaction even with animals I have to sit in my room,” she said.
Guminski wasn’t satisfied so he kept calling the Department of Health until he got a return call.
“Because we had all these questions, she dug deeper, and come to find out my daughter was not in the room where the person had the virus,” Greg said, relieved.
Madison was also excited because that meant she could go back to school. “For them to then tell me I wasn’t even near the person who had COVID and was perfectly fine,” she said.
But if Greg Guminski never would’ve called, neither of them would’ve known. “Our daughter would be quarantined right now for no reason,” said Guminski.
So now Madison is back at school, back at work, and most importantly, playing volleyball again.
Her father, however, still isn’t okay with how the situation played out, although his daughter is safe.
“I can’t believe the confusion of who is exposed is happening,” said Greg. “Who is exposed that they don’t know about? And who do they think was exposed that wasn’t? I mean this kind of confusion just can’t be happening.”
The Department of Health decides who must quarantine not individual school districts. They provided the following statement:
When an individual is determined to be COVID positive, FDOH Lee immediately does a preliminary assessment of individuals thought to be an exposure to a case in collaboration with the school district in an effort to quickly eliminate them from the school and reduce the risk of further exposures to others. The contact tracing involves interviewing the case as well as those reported to have contact with the case. During the course of these interviews, new information becomes available that can change whether or not someone is deemed a contact. This is not a “mistake”, but rather the outcome of thorough contact investigation that generated additional information that allowed the person to be able to excluded as a contact.
In order to protect the privacy of Floridians, the Department is unable to provide certain details regarding case information.