School principal, 2 student-athletes in Charlotte County test positive for COVID-19

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Charlotte County Public Schools
FILE: Logo of Charlotte County Public Schools. Credit: WINK News/FILE)

The community liaison for Charlotte County Public Schools confirmed Thursday the principal at Punta Gorda Middle School and two football players at Port Charlotte High School have tested positive for the coronavirus.

We reached out to Principal Tina Dionosio of Punta Gorda Middle School, who confirmed she has tested positive for COVID-19.

“I currently am not having symptoms, but I am following our district’s protocols,” Dionosio told WINK News in an email.

Both students are football players at Port Charlotte High School and are in self-isolation.

Community liaison Mike Riley with CCPS said anyone who had contact with the three individuals must self-quarantine.

We spoke to those who have students attending school in Charlotte County Thursday after learning about these confirmed cases.

“I thought, ‘Oh, crap,’” said Lisa Stelmack, whose granddaughter attends Punta Gorda Middle School. “It’s very scary to me because this is really spreading.”

While the principal says she doesn’t have symptoms, Stelmack told us the case solidifies her decision for her granddaughter to learn from home this year.

“There is no reason for me to jeopardize her,” Stelmack said.

These cases come just a day before the Florida High School Athletic Association is set to discuss whether fall sports need to be pushed back further than they already have.

Jeni Hirman’s oldest daughter is a cheerleader. To this point, she’s hoped her kids would be able to return safely.

“I want them to go back to school,” said Hirman, who has three children at Charlotte County schools. “I really do. I think it’s the best thing for them emotionally and socially, but to say that I’m nervous is an understatement.”

Hirman says this is an opportunity for parents to see how the school district responds. She fears positive cases during the school year are inevitable.

“By the time school is in session, anything that she would have touched in the school would be disinfected and germ-free,” Hirman said. “I think that this is probably the biggest worry for parents though is what happens when the teachers and the administration does get sick?”

MORE: Charlotte County Public Schools Coronavirus Information

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