The Glendale Unified School District has identified nearly four dozen cases of COVID-19 among students and employees in its first eight days of school, according to a dashboard it uses to monitor the disease on its campuses.
The cases have resulted in more than 3,300 identified exposures, as determined by contact tracing, although it was unclear how many of them were required to quarantine. Presently, the dashboard does not differentiate exposure by vaccination status, which affects whether the exposed subjects need to isolate themselves.
In the meantime, the district and the Glendale Teachers Association continue to hammer out a deal on how students are to continue their education when quarantining. GUSD is currently proposing that students in quarantine — which is likely to include entire classes — temporarily transition to a remote, online class model similar to how schools operated the previous school year.
According to the dashboard, 39 students have been confirmed to test positive for COVID-19 since the start of the school year on Aug. 18. These include four students at Clark Magnet High School and Edison Elementary School; three students each at Jefferson and Mark Keppel elementary schools, Roosevelt Middle School and Crescenta Valley, Hoover and Glendale high schools; two students at La Crescenta Elementary School; and one student at Cerritos, Dunsmore, Fremont, Lincoln and Verdugo Woodlands elementary schools and Rosemont, Toll and Wilson middle schools.
Among staff members, there have been two employees at CVHS and one each at Fremont Elementary School and Mann Elementary School confirmed to have COVID-19.
The cases have resulted in at least 2,265 exposures, with the largest groups being at Roosevelt (440 exposures), CVHS (366) and GHS (350). The district reports that there are 24,717 students on campuses right now, alongside 2,930 employees. Given the newness of the positive tests, it was not known by the News-Press’ deadline whether any of the school site exposures resulted in infections.
Students who are exposed are generally required to isolate for 10 days. However, if they are asymptomatic after five days, they can take a test on the sixth and return to class on the eighth day if it produces a negative result. Employees, in contrast, must quarantine the full 10 days regardless.
Quarantines are not required for those who are fully vaccinated and beyond the two-week inoculation stage.
GUSD schools continue to host vaccination clinics. The vaccine produced by Pfizer, which recently attained full approval by the Food and Drug Administration after initially getting an emergency use approval, is freely available to all those age 12 and older.
The vaccines produced by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, which continue to have emergency use approval, are freely available to everyone 18 and older.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, nearly 115,000 of eligible Glendale residents — 62.1% of residents age 12 and older — have received at least dose of a vaccine. Broken down, that includes 5,765 children age 12-17, or 49.9% of that population, and 27,918 residents age 65 and older (74.5%).
In unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose, 13,944 residents age 12 and older (77.9% of that group) have had at least one dose, including 2,910 residents age 65 and older. In a statistical feat, 1,290 children registered age 12-17 there have gotten at least a dose — meaning just six have not.
As of press deadline, it was unclear what percentage of GUSD’s employees have shown that they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. They are required to test weekly if not inoculated.