Cenla education leaders make changes after seeing high case, quarantine numbers

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:44 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Schools are already seeing high numbers of positive COVID cases and students being quarantined, leading to some changes being made early in the school year.

Just a few days after the start of school, Caroline Dormon Junior High announced that some classes were being quarantined after having multiple students in different grade levels test positive for the virus.

Earlier this week Rapides Parish released their first set of numbers, reporting over 200 students testing positive and over a thousand quarantines.

Also this week, Avoyelles Parish voted on a decision to switch to a hybrid schedule starting next week after seeing high numbers within the first week of school.

There have been some questions and confusion about guidelines this school year for decisions on closing schools and quarantining entire classes. Doctor David Holcombe with the Region 6 Office of Public Health explains that those decisions are made on the local level.

“It would seem logical that you had a threshold and then over a certain threshold that the school or class may be closed, but actually there isn’t any established threshold. And so, there’s a lot of discretion on the part of the principal and superintendents about where they’re going to establish that threshold,” said Holcombe.

According to the state board of education guidelines, one of the factors to be considered in closing a school or classroom is the level of community transmission - something Holcombe says we’re seeing more of, compared to at-school exposure.

“Most of the positive cases coming from the home; transmission through the parents or other siblings, sports events, other extracurricular activities,” he said.

Positive cases in K-12 schools enrolled in LDH’s school reporting system are entered on a weekly basis and can be viewed on the Louisiana Department of Health website.

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