Thirty-six cases of COVID-19 have been reported among students and staff members in Oak Ridge Schools since Wednesday.
It’s a drastic increase in the number of cases reported among students and staff and triple the previous weekly high of 12. The highest number of cases in one day, 11, was reported Friday.
Fourteen of the COVID-19 cases since Wednesday have been reported at Robertsville Middle School (13 students and one staff member). Nine cases have been reported at Oak Ridge High School (all students), and seven have been reported at Jefferson Middle School (also all students).
During a longer period, the past 12 days, 47 cases have been reported in Oak Ridge Schools. During that time period, the highest numbers of cases have been reported at the two middle schools: 16 at RMS and 12 at JMS. The third-highest number of cases, 11, was reported at ORHS.
The increase in cases among middle school students, in particular, occurred after they returned to class five days per week on Monday, November 2. The most significant surge also started after Halloween. But it’s not clear if the events are connected. Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers has said about 80 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases have been exposed to the virus outside of school, according to information provided by parents.
The two middle schools returned to the alternating schedules used earlier this year on Monday, November 16. High school students remain on the alternating schedules, and elementary and preschool students continue with classes five days per week.
Oak Ridge Today has been tracking weekly case counts in the schools from Wednesday through Tuesday since the first school week started on Wednesday, July 29. There is one more day left in the current school week, Tuesday, November 17, so it’s possible the total this week could go higher than 36.
The cases among Oak Ridge Schools students and staff members have surged since fall break, although it’s not clear if there is a connection between the two events. There have been 69 COVID-19 cases reported since fall break.
|School Week||Number of Cases|
|Week 1 (July 29-Aug. 4)||3|
|Week 2 (Aug 5-Aug 11)||0|
|Week 3 (Aug 12-Aug 18)||4|
|Week 4 (Aug 19-Aug 25)||1|
|Week 5 (Aug 26-Sept 1)||5|
|Week 6 (Sept 2-Sept 8)||0|
|Week 7 (Sept 9-Sept 15)||2|
|Week 8 (Sept 16-Sept 22)||2|
|Week 9 (Sept 23-Sept 29)||2|
|Week 10 (Sept 30-Oct 6)||0|
|Week 11 (Oct 7-Oct 13)||0|
|Week 12 (Oct 14-Oct 20)||2|
|Week 13 (Oct 21-Oct 27)||9|
|Week 14 (Oct 28-Nov 3)||12|
|Week 15 (Nov 4-Nov 10)||12|
|Week 16 (Nov 11-Nov 17 (partial week))||36|