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Some school officials hopeful COVID surge won't affect in-person classes

10 months 1 week 6 days ago Tuesday, August 17 2021 Aug 17, 2021 August 17, 2021 6:37 PM August 17, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - In the past week, schools across the region have been navigating a return to class amid another COVID surge.

Many districts are already a week or more into the semester, and so far education leaders in our area say cases have been manageable.

"As school was getting ready to get started, it seemed like the cases were picking up, and we're actually off to a really good start. Not saying it's been perfect. We probably have a few more cases in students this year than we did last year, but it's still not unmanageable at all," said Wes Watts, superintendent of the West Baton Rouge School District.

In West Baton Rouge, fewer than two percent of students have tested positive or are in quarantine.

"I'd say we have about 28 students, districtwide, that are positive right now and probably about 35 that are quarantined that were in close contact," Watts said.

In East Baton Rouge, school leaders say they add up a week's worth of COVID case information weekly. Stacey Dupre, chief officer for Support and Special Projects at East Baton Rouge School District is tracking cases and says the district is pleased with how teachers and students are following COVID protocols.

"One of the things that we've been looking at is the trends in COVID data and are we seeing more cases or are they about the same as what we saw at a similar time last year? And at this point in time, what we're seeing is that the rates are pretty consistent with what we saw last year," Dupre said.

Right now, schools say they are committed to keeping classes in-person.

"I think we all know the best place for our kids to be is at school, learning. We saw all the struggles with virtual learning last year, and I think everyone was just really ready to be back at school. Obviously, we all wanted to be back without masks, but that's not where we are right now," Superintendent Watts said.

The state will start reporting outbreak information tracked at schools on Wednesday.

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