State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond canceled a planned appearance at a Los Angeles school on Friday, Jan. 7, after learning that he’d been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesperson for the California Department of Education said.
There is no indication at this point that Thurmond himself has contracted the virus, said spokeswoman Maria Clayton.
“He received notice late yesterday that he came in contact with an individual who tested positive, and in an abundance of caution, he is not attending” Friday’s event, she said.
She declined to elaborate further or say if or where Thurmond is quarantining.
The state’s top schools chief had planned to join Los Angeles Unified School District officials in handing out COVID-19 home testing kits to students at a middle school.
Students in the nation’s second-largest district are scheduled to return to their classrooms for the start of second semester on Tuesday, and the district is requiring all students and staff to be tested for the coronavirus before entering campus.
Thurmond has been in Los Angeles since at least Wednesday, when he held a press conference and discussed, among other things, delays in getting home testing kits to students throughout California before many returned to school this week following their holiday breaks. He said at the time that his department is committed to working with the state Department of Public Health to get the test kits into students’ hands as quickly as possible.