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Massachusetts fourth-grader is sent home from school after sneezing twice in class


Massachusetts fourth-grader is sent home from school after sneezing twice in class and is barred from returning until he tests negative for COVID-19

  • Lancinet Keita, nine, was sent home from John Bishop Elementary School in Arlington on Tuesday morning 
  • Boy’s father was asked to pick him up after he sneezed a couple of times in class
  • Lancinet would have to undergo COVID-19 testing before he is allowed to return to school  

By Snejana Farberov For

Published: | Updated:

A Massachusetts father has said that his son was sent home from his elementary school for sneezing and was told to stay home until he gets a negative COVID-19 test. 

Nine-year-old Lancinet Keita told CBS Boston he was in class at John Bishop Elementary School in Arlington on Tuesday morning when he sneezed twice. 

Alarmed, the boy’s teacher immediately sent Lancinet to the school nurse and called his father, informing him that his son was sneezing and had a stuffy nose, and asking him to come and take the child home. 

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Nine-year-old Lancinet Keita was sent home from school in Massachusetts and told to get tested for COVID-19 after sneezing a couple of times in class on Tuesday 

Keita was sent to the nurse’s office at John Bishop Elementary School in Arlington after a teacher became alarmed by his sneezing  

‘I was thinking I didn’t have anything, just a couple sneezes,’ Lancinet said.

Thierno Keita said his son was in good health when he left for school that morning,  and also he had no symptoms when he picked him up from the nurse’s office. 

‘And I checked his temperature: everything was perfect,’ Keita said after repeatedly checking that Lancinet had no fever.  

The father now plans to get Lancinet tested for the coronavirus so he can return to school as soon as possible.

Keita said he is upset about what happened and believes that his son’s teacher has overreacted, causing him to miss work and and his son to miss school.  

Officials at Bishop Elementary School have confirmed the incident, saying that a student was sent home early on Tuesday after ‘he displayed COVID-19 related symptoms.’ 

Thierno Keita got a call from school asking him to come and pick up his son 

The father said repeated temperature checks showed that Lancinet had no fever 

A thermometer displays Lancinet’s temperature of 98.3 degrees, which is considered normal

The statement continued: ‘This decision was made both out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with district protocols related to COVID-19. This isolated incident is not indicative of any need for wider concern of COVID-19 exposure.

‘Per district protocols, the student will either have to produce a negative COVID-19 test, written documentation from a health care provider stating it is an alternative illness or be symptom free for 10 days following the start of the symptoms.’

As of Wednesday afternoon, Massachusetts has reported more than 128,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 9,328 deaths.  


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