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Buckeye-area schools holding steady in battle vs. COVID-19

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BUCKEYE — School districts in the Buckeye area have held their ground in efforts to minimize the active COVID-19 cases on campus — with a few recent adjustments.

Monday, the governing board of Liberty Elementary School District further articulated more specific protocol for COVID-19 quarantine.

The new detailed policy was released on the heels of a week that included the district’s highest number of cases this school year on a single campus. There were 10 new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 at Estrella Mountain Elementary School during the week of Oct. 2-8.

Those cases brought the district’s total of cases, since the school year began Aug. 4, to 187. The district hasn’t had more than 36 positives in any of the first eight weeks of school.

The district also tracks total people exposed on each campus to COVID-19-positive students or staff at its seven campuses and its district office. The 10 positives at Estrella Mountain Elementary led to 191 exposures.

The seven positive cases at Rainbow Valley Elementary, the week of Sept. 18-24, exposed 392 people to the virus, the district says on its online COVID-19 dashboard.

The governing board’s quarantine protocol now states:

-Students exposed in their home to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 days.

-Students exposed to COVID-19 elsewhere can choose to quarantine. They can also return to school if not exhibiting symptoms or awaiting results of a COVID-19 test.

-Individuals testing positive, awaiting a COVID-19 result, or exhibiting two or more symptoms can return: As soon as a negative COVID-19 test result is received or after 10 days have elapsed since the last positive test result or symptoms first appeared, 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms are improving (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months).

-A negative PCR test is required for individuals who tested positive for COVID-19.

Liberty’s district COVID-19 dashboard can be found here: liberty25.org/about-liberty/district-services/health-services/covid-information

Buckeye Union High School District data show there were no new confirmed student or staff cases of COVID-19 in the week leading up to Oct. 12 at Youngker, Estrella Foothills or Buckeye Union high schools. There was one new student case at the district’s Student Learning Center.

Since the start of school in early August, Youngker has had 71 positive student cases and eight among staff. Estrella Foothills has had 56 student positives and three staff, followed by (53 students and three staff) Buckeye Union (42 students and 11 staff) and the Learning Center (12 students and three staff).

There have been two “other district operations” positive COVID-19 tests among district staff this year.

District Superintendent Steve Bebee said a decision was made to not include quarantine numbers on the high school district’s dashboard, which can be found here: buhsd.org/c_o_v_i_d-19/guidance_and_dashboard

The Buckeye Elementary School District has had no more than seven new cases last week at any of its K-8 schools. For the week ending Oct. 1, there were seven new cases at Marionneaux Elementary, six at Sundance Elementary, five each at Bales and WestPark, three at Jasinski, two each at John S. McCain III and the district’s central office, and one case each at Inca and Buckeye elementaries.

There were zero new cases that week at the Buckeye Preschool the Jasinski Preschool and BESD-Virtual.

For the school year, Jasinski Elementary has had 40 cases, followed by Sundance (33), Inca (32), McCain and Marionneaux (26), WestPark, Buckeye Elementary and Bales (20), Buckeye PreSchool (3), and BESD-Virtual (1). There have been no COVID-19 positives at the Jasinski Preschool this year.

BESD’s dashboard shows an “under investigation” column, but there was a entry of zero for all campuses as of Thursday. The district does not indicate which positive tests are from students, and which are staff.

The elementary district’s COVID-19 dashboard can be found here:
sites.google.com/besd33.org/besd2020-2021/besd-data-dashboard?authuser=0

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