Delta closing schools
August 18, 2021 9:08 AM   Subscribe

I've heard about a few school districts closing schools right away this fall due to rapid COVID spread. But they are places that weren't masking. Are there accounts of school districts with mask requirements closing down or experiencing rapid spread this fall? Thanks!
posted by Spokane to Education (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My school is 100% mask indoors and outside. Elementary. In a county of 76% of eligible population vaccinated.

After less than one week back they closed a kinder class since ~3 tested positive. Also two other cases in different grades and 4 staff.

Now. It’s so very likely that they caught this elsewhere since first case was within 2 days of the start of school. And the next like a day later. What will the masked inter-class transmission rate be? I’ll know in two weeks I guess. Should have lobbied for requiring a 48h negative COVID test in order to begin school so we could start somewhat clean slate but there you have it. Hope that anecdata helps.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:28 AM on August 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

The university I work at has had multiple clusters in the last two weeks, despite indoor masking and a 100% vaccinated rate among students and > 80% among faculty/staff (and 100% for any faculty working in-person with students).

Nearly all are asymptomatic and identified through surveillance testing. But the positivity rate in the last ten days is 15x the rate for the entire summer semester.
posted by basalganglia at 11:10 AM on August 18, 2021 [5 favorites]

My county is 80% vaccinated and there were 3 confirmed (unrelated) cases at the elementary school in my neighborhood by the third day of school. They sent the kids and those potentially exposed home but didn’t close school.
posted by assenav at 1:05 PM on August 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

My daughter returned to elementary school on 8/2. Everyone on school premises is required to wear masks at all times whether indoors or outside, except while eating. The first case, a 4th-grader, was reported on 8/8 (the Sunday after school started). By the next day there were 2 more cases, all in 4th grade but spread across 2 classes. By the end of the second week of school, there were 9 cases, all either 4th graders or their siblings. We're now near the end of the third week, and have a total of 12 cases (11 students, 1 staff). Cases are concentrated among 4th graders and their siblings; I believe 1-2 have occurred outside that group. School has remained open overall, but classes with positive cases have gone virtual for 2 weeks to quarantine.

Although this has all been quite nerve-wracking, it appears that in-school spread has been relatively minimal. The most likely scenario is that a 4th grader caught the virus outside school and spread it to a few others (not surprising, since all classes from 1 grade eat lunch at the same time), who passed it to their siblings while they were quarantined at home. Then there were a couple of other random cases, who also probably caught it outside school. The administration has since instituted better social distancing at lunch, which should help reduce in-school spread if/when this happens again.

Our takeaway: masking works!
posted by purplemonkie at 7:00 AM on August 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

Update: masking does slow transmission. Like 9 cases total in a school population of like 500 kids in the three weeks since school started. That includes the first five kids in the first week.

Now they lock it down hard - modified quarantine (biweekly testing) for groups with one exposure and 2 week class shutdown if three cases in one class; it’s nerve wracking but so far ok.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:51 PM on September 1, 2021

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