OAKLAND, Calif. – One of California Gavin Newsom’s children is in quarantine after a schoolmate tested positive for Covid-19, the governor’s office confirmed to POLITICO late Friday.
Newsom’s child was exposed at his private school and has been in a 14-day quarantine, communications director Nathan Click said in an email. POLITICO does not name the school or the child for privacy reasons.
It marked yet another rough turn for the Newsom family in a week in which the governor has drawn harsh criticism for attending a 12-person dinner party at The French Laundry for a Sacramento lobbyist friend. The school exposure is likely to draw the attention of teachers’ associations, which have called on the governor to close all campuses due to an increase in coronavirus cases.
“The family has taken the potential exposure seriously and follows all state protocols,” Click said. “After being warned by the school that a classmate tested positive for COVID-19, the potentially exposed Newsom child began a 14-day quarantine from the date of exposure in accordance with the state’s public health guidelines for schools.”
Newsom received a quick test this week that was negative and which, according to Click, will get a nasal inoculation test this weekend. All four Newsom children have been tested negative, as has first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
The Newsom child was tested twice [5 days and 7 days past their last contact with the COVID-19 positive student], “Said Click.” In addition, each of the Newsom children was also tested on day 5. ”
Click said the governor, his wife and their three other children are not required to be quarantined under state health guidelines that only require quarantine for the person directly exposed to an infected person.
Newsom said late last month that his four children, ages 4 to 11, had returned for personal learning at their private school in Sacramento during a “phased-in approach.” The school expanded to five days a week this month.
The governor has caught fire because most of California’s 6 million public school children stay home to take distance learning, as 20 of the 25 largest districts have chosen to keep campuses closed, including the massive Los Angeles Unified School District. Assembly Education President Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) this month called the situation “state-sanctioned segregation” because more affluent suburban families have returned to the classroom, while public schools serving low-income residents have largely stayed home. Many students have struggled with distance learning based on early report cards showing increase in failure.
As Covid-19 rose at an unprecedented rate and the state set daily case records, Newsom moved 41 counties – with 94 percent of the state’s population – into the most restrictive coronavirus purple level this week. This makes it much more difficult for schools that never opened to bring students back, and it has put a chill in reopening talks for districts that were considering reopening. School districts and private schools already opened – including Newsoms’ – can still remain open in the purple layer under the governor’s rules.
Click said Newsom “has made student and staff safety a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic and has fought to ensure that every child – whether in a classroom or at home – learns.” In a Nov. 6 letter sent to California mayors, Newsom noted that his latest state budget “stabilized school funding and included a one-time investment of more than $ 5.3 billion in funds for local public schools to support learning and tackle barriers. related to COVID -19. “
But O’Donnell and other leaders say Newsom must do more. According to the Legislative Analysts Office, the state is expected to have a “stormfall” of $ 26 billion over the next 18 months, and Democratic legislators have said some of that money should be used to ensure the safety of schools.
The private school in Sacramento, in which Newsoms participates, is moving to distance learning after Thanksgiving has gone through the second week of December, in part because of the higher risks associated with holiday activities next week, according to an email received by POLITICO. In order for students to return after that, they must receive a negative Covid-19 test, and the school offers tests to all students and staff.
The state’s largest teachers’ associations and school districts have demanded comparable measures before agreeing to reopen schools.
Newsom’s family exposure came in the same week as the governor made international headlines – and faced critical criticism – for attending a birthday dinner for lobbyist Jason Kinney at the exclusive French laundromat in Napa County. The dinner became fodder for cable hosts and editorial questions what they saw as the governor’s political hypocrisy that has repeatedly urged Californians to avoid traveling for Thanksgiving, severely restricting their social gatherings and avoiding indoor dining to slow the spread of the virus.
Photos of the dinner, captured by Fox LA, showed the governor and Siebel Newsom sitting unmasked along with two top officials of the California Medical Association, CEO Dustin Corcoran and top lobbyist Janus Norman.
Although originally billed as an outdoor event, the photos showed eateries at Kinney’s 50th birthday party in a three-sided room closed, which also raised questions about how Newsom defines “outdoor” dining in the pandemic – a definition that got even more important. importance as most of the state was forced to close all indoor restaurant operations.
On Thursday, he ordered a curfew from kl. 22 to kl. 5 from Saturday in the 41 purple counties. Residents should avoid venturing outside unless they are performing important activities. The curfew lasts until kl. 21 on December 21, more than a full month. Newsom said he aimed to control the higher spread that occurs during intoxication-driven activities and late at night, and he warned of “social activities and gatherings that are more likely to lead to impaired inhibition.”