496 Fayette school students, staff now sidelined by Covid

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Fayette County’s public schools for the week ending Nov. 20 showed an increase to 35 new cases of Covid-19 among students, 423 students remaining in isolation or quarantine and 14 new cases among staff out of a bricks and mortar enrollment of 14,535 students.

As of Nov. 20, there were 35 new student cases and 423 students remaining in isolation or quarantine. That compares to 132 remaining in quarantine or isolation on Nov. 13; 121 on Nov. 3; 87 on Oct. 30; 181 on Oct. 23; 225 on Oct. 16; 11 on Oct. 9; nine on Oct. 2; 18 on Sept. 25; 35 on Sept. 4; and 102 on Aug. 28.

Also on Nov. 20, there were 14 new staff cases and 24 staff remaining in isolation or quarantine.

To recap: 35 new student cases last week. With 423 students either infected or exposed to Covid, and the 35 new cases, that means at least 458 students with active cases or in quarantine.

For staff like teachers and parapros,  14 are newly infected, added to 24 staffers already isolated — a total of 38 staff members sidelined.

The Nov. 20 report noted 14,535 students attending in-school classes. That compares to 13,703 students on Aug. 28.

Fayette County public schools employs 2,993 staff.

As previously noted, asked why the school system is only providing the number of total positive cases and quarantines within the school system and not by school, officials said the number of positive Covid-19 cases are so low that infected individuals could be easily identified, putting the school system in violation of HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) laws. Parents will be notified if there is a case at their child’s school.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Does anyone believe these numbers? By refusing to publish school by school data, without asterisks, FCBOE is shamefully providing a false picture of what’s actually going on, especially in the high schools.

      • It has little to do with being scared and much to do with managing risk. Everyone’s threshold is different and the continued belittling from those that think that this is all fake doesn’t help anyone.

      • It’s not about being scared, its so much more. Students are being forced to quarantine out of respect for others and safety which opens up a whole new issue- my children have been contact traced twice in the past 6 weeks. This results in being forced to stay home for 2 weeks and then again for 2 weeks after having only returned for 3 days. They have been staying home, only leaving the house to attend school, and yet keep landing on the quarantine list. Quizzes and tests keep coming even though the “education” being provided via Schoology doesn’t match the education being provided in person thus resulting in much lower grades than the students usually perform. This has a significant impact on overall GPA, next year class placement, scholarships, etc. They really need to rework how academics are being delivered to provide quality and equal education to each student, including shutting down if necessary to make the delivery of education effective. They need to tailor each lesson to be able to be delivered 100% virtual regarless if the student is in the building or at home. There is no way a teacher can give students at home the same education give to those lucky enough to be able to attend. Surely there is a way to just video the teacher so quarantined at home students get the same lecture. Please don’t say “you were given a choice”, yes we were. We made our decision based on the promises made by the school- to shut down and go 100% virtual with 100% Fayette County teachers delivering Fayette County curriculum if the numbers rose. Well, they keep changing the parameters. We would have been better off unenrolling and enrolling in a private, well established virtual school. The option of Edgenuity was a joke. The promise to make decisions based on guidlines has been broken. The people I know who bailed immediately made the smartest choice. Their children are getting a good, consistent education from established online schools. They will stay on track with education, scholarships, mental health, etc.

  2. Pretty sure HIPAA laws pertain to health professionals & protected entities. A school is not considered a protected entity so they can release cases by school they’re choosing not to & they’re misinterpreting FERPA as well. The cases don’t seem so insignificant now to report on by school. If anything, notifying parents of the situation does very little, what about the right of the community who deserve to know if they came in contact by coming thru the front office, being a visitor of a school, doing work/delivery at a school, etc? So we get a story about sandy creek canceling football activities bc of positive football players/staff and that conveniently isn’t breeching HIPAA? I’m just trying to understand this excuse theyre giving.