Fredericksburg ISD school board was meeting in person, until trustee tested positive for COVID-19

Investigations

FREDERICKSBURG, Texas (KXAN) — Some school boards across the state have moved to virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a viewer tip, KXAN has learned the Fredericksburg Independent School Board continued to hold in-person meetings up until a board member tested positive for the virus.

Superintendent Dr. Jeff Brasher confirmed to KXAN the school board met six times in March and April, with the last in-person meeting happening on April 27. He said all board members were comfortable meeting in person while practicing social distancing, and said fewer than 10 people were in the room. The public was not allowed to show up, but was able to watch virtually.

The in-person meetings came to a halt on April 30, when Dr. Brasher said he learned one of his board members tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Jeff Brasher said the board member was showing symptoms at the April 20 meeting, but had been to the doctor and was told they didn’t have the coronavirus. The board member also showed up to the board meeting on April 27 meeting still unaware they had COVID-19, according to Dr. Brasher.

Even though all of the board members meet together in the same room, Dr. Brasher said he and a district secretary were the only two people who were in close proximity to the board member who tested positive.

“Everybody was being very responsible, nobody shook hands and people were using hand sanitizer and wipes,” said Dr. Brasher.

Dr. Brasher said he decided to get tested for COVID-19 for “peace of mind for he and his family.” He said the test came back negative, and that he has been feeling fine.

People exposed to someone with COVID-19 have been directed to self-quarantine for 14 days, but the superintendent said he was told by a Department of State Health Services Regional Medical Director it would be okay to isolate in his office at work. KXAN is still trying to confirm through DSHS what guidance he was given.

Dr. Brasher said after the test came back negative, he’s been going to work and isolating in his office for the most part, but has been visiting with assistant superintendents at a six foot distance.

He said the board has not met in person since learning of the board member who tested positive, and will continue to meet virtually.

Gillespie County has reported four cases of COVID-19. Gillespie County commissioners have continued meeting in person during the pandemic.

In neighboring Mason County, KXAN reported on an in-person city council meeting that resulted in a spike in COVID-19 cases.

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