Timber Creek High School closes campus after coronavirus spike linked to Sweet 16 party


  • Photo courtesy Timber Creek High/Twitter
Timber Creek High School in Avalon Park abruptly ceased in-person instruction on Wednesday afternoon. The school switched over to the virtual learning platform LaunchEd@Home on Thursday, after a coronavirus spike on campus in which there were 14 positive tests for COVID-19. Additionally, the Florida Department of Health is sending out 200-plus quarantine letters to those possibly exposed at school.

A post on Timber Creek's Twitter account from principal Kelly Paduano on Wednesday explained the school's decision and stated that contact tracing had connected this surge in infection to "community events."

What sort of "community event" is Principal Paduano referring to, you ask? Well, according to WESH, it was a Sweet 16 party in Avalon Park.

During a press briefing by Dr. Raul Pino and Orange County health officials on Thursday afternoon, this particular birthday party was brought up as a warning to parents against throwing birthday bashes, with officials noting that attendees of the party go to several area high schools.

Out of 30 people who attended that party, 15 later tested positive for COVID-19, according to Florida Department of Health contact tracing.

On-campus instruction at Timber Creek High will resume Nov. 5, and the school will be cleaned and disinfected in the meantime. All extracurricular activities are canceled except for football. Free COVID-19 testing will be made available to students and staff.

Timber Creek is now the third public school in Orange County to temporarily close its doors and move all classes online due to COVID-19, following West Orange High School and Olympia High School.

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