Sixty-nine cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Oak Ridge Schools this fiscal year. Sixty of those cases have been reported in the past eight days, since Wednesday, August 4. Two dozen cases were reported in the past two days. Students have been back in school about two weeks.
Three schools have had more than 10 cases each, and one, Willow Brook Elementary School, has had more than 20. Willow Brook is the only school where face masks are required.
The largest number of cases is at Willow Brook, where 23 COVID cases have been reported. Some are no longer considered current. Current cases include 16 student infections and two staff member infections.
Robertsville Middle School has had the second-highest number of cases with 17 total. Thirteen are current student cases, and one is a current staff case.
Jefferson Middle School has the third-largest number of cases with 11 total. Ten of those are current student cases.
All three of those schools have reported at least a half-dozen new cases in the past three days. Eight new cases were reported at Jefferson since Monday, while seven new cases were reported at Willow Brook and six at Robertsville.
Oak Ridge High School has had nine student cases total this fiscal year, with five of those current.
Linden Elementary School has four current student cases. Woodland Elementary School has had three student cases, with one of those current, and Secret City Academy has two current student cases.
Students returned to school on Wednesday, July 29, although teachers and staff were in schools before then. The fiscal year began July 1.
Most of the COVID cases reported by Oak Ridge Schools have been among students, 64. Fifty-one of those are current.
Five staff members have been infected, with three of those current.
It’s not clear how students and staff were infected with the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. Last year, the school system said most of the people infected as of November, at the beginning of the winter peak, had been exposed to the virus outside of school. It’s not clear if that has changed.
It’s also not clear what type of symptoms the students and staff are experiencing. That information, the outcome of individual cases, has not been reported.
Health officials have said vaccines are the best tool to fight COVID. Students 12 years old and older are eligible for vaccines. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and make an appointment for a shot here.
Besides vaccines, experts have said face masks are a tool that can be used to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID. Face masks are currently optional in Oak Ridge Schools except at Willow Brook.
Health officials say the delta variant of the new coronavirus is responsible for 80 percent or more of new cases and the fourth surge of COVID in the United States. The surge in Tennessee started a month or so ago. The surge in Anderson County cases started about July 12.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
Most news stories on Oak Ridge Today are free, brought to you by Oak Ridge Today with help from our advertisers, contributors, and subscribers. This is a free story. Thank you to our advertisers, contributors, and subscribers. You can see what we cover here.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today!
Alternatively, you can donate to support our work here. Thank you for your support!
Copyright 2021 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.