Public school cases finally heading in more desirable direction

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On the COVID-19 front, the first month back from Christmas break was busy in the Baldwin County School District. 

A total of 178 student cases and 42 employee cases were documented between Jan. 5 and Jan. 28, according to the BCSD's online dashboard. Those 220 total cases were roughly three times as many cases as October, November and December combined (76). At least to some extent, however, it's important to remember that testing was much more common around Baldwin County in January, relative to October through December. Also, of course, the highly contagious Omicron variant is the largest driver of the increase in new cases.

However, this past school week looked much more promising, as a total of 24 student cases and four employee cases were documented. 

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The back-to-school numbers for January sort of mimicked the back-to-school numbers for August, when 149 students and 28 employees returned positive tests during the first four weeks of the school year. The 149 student cases in August 2021 actually were more than double the number of student cases from the entire 2020–2021 school year (73).  At least to some extent, however some of the increase in COVID in the 2021-2022 school year can be attributed to increased in-person enrollment. The school district began this school year with an in-person enrollment of 4,309, which compares to an in-person enrollment of roughly 2,500 last year. There were actually more virtual students than in-person students during the first few months of the 2020-2021 school year, although virtual enrollment is down significantly to begin this school year. Also, cases among young people have been much more prevalent with the Delta strain and Omicron strain, relative to prior strains of the virus, according to the Georgia Department of Health's data.


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