The Summit County Public Health Department is investigating an outbreak of 21 cases of the novel coronavirus at the Alpine Dance Academy in Frisco, according to a news release.
Of the 21 cases, 16 involve employees and students of the dance academy and five involve the students’ family members, according to the statement. The outbreak is also affecting local public schools, with multiple cohorts totaling 142 students quarantined at Summit middle and high schools.
Health officials say the outbreak was caused by students failing to follow guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, including attending classes while sick.
“This is a clear example of how quickly the virus can spread in our community if basic mitigation measures are not followed,” Public Health Director Amy Wineland said in the statement. “In this case, Alpine Dance Academy had multi-level security measures in place to protect its students; however, if students knowingly and repeatedly go to practice while sick, they pose a health risk to their peers, family, and instructors.
County officials say the dance academy had enough prevention measures in place — including mask-wearing, physical distancing, symptom checking, cleaning and sanitizing — but some students didn’t. reported their symptoms while attending classes.
“We are extremely disappointed that our students came to dance while showing symptoms and were not upfront with public health officials about it,” said Kelly Monahon, owner of the Alpine Dance Academy, in the press release. “This delayed a quarantine that could have protected a number of our dancers, staff and their family members.”
County health officials stressed that anyone with symptoms — no matter how mild — should be tested and eliminate contact with others until test results are received. Free tests are available daily throughout the county. Find information on times and locations at SummitCountyCo.gov/testing.