Sixty students in the Kent School District have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since Oct. 1, including six at Kent-Meridian High School. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Sixty students in the Kent School District have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since Oct. 1, including six at Kent-Meridian High School. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Kent School District reports 60 COVID-19 student cases so far in October

First released report with student, staff cases at each school

Sixty students and 13 staff members have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since Oct. 1 in the Kent School District.

Eighteen student cases and two staff cases remained active as of Oct. 22, according to the district’s new Reported COVID-19 Dashboard on its website. This is the first week the district, which had 23,110 students enrolled in September, has posted the number of cases at each school.

The data table represents COVID-19 cases for students and staff in the district since Oct. 1. The date coincides with the transition to the new database being used by the district’s contact tracing staff hired and trained in September.

Since school started on Aug. 26, the district has had to temporarily close single classrooms at Daniel, Covington, Panther Lake and Meridian Elementary schools due to COVID-19. The district has not had to shut down any entire school.

According to the district, closure of a classroom will be considered after consultation with Public Health – Seattle & King County when:

• Two or more students or staff in the same room/area test positive for COVID-19

• The cases have symptoms that start within 14 days of each other

• The cases are not associated with one another in another setting (household, club, etc.)

Several of the highest student case numbers include six at Kent-Meridian High School, five at Cedar Heights Middle School, five at Neely-O’Brien Elementary, four at Crestwood Elementary, four at Mill Creek Middle School, four at Kentwood High and four at Kentridge High.

The highest staff numbers include three at Neely-O’Brien Elementary, two at River Ridge Elementary, two at Mill Creek Middle School and two at the Central Office (administration building).

The dashboard was last updated Oct. 21, and it refreshes every Monday by 10 a.m.

A case is a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Active cases are cases with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis within the infectious period for students/staff members.

The dashboard contains only cases recorded and reported starting Oct. 1. Students/staff that have had contact with a COVID-19 case but have not tested positive themselves are not included in the dashboard.

Students/staff that had COVID-19 prior to the 2021-2022 school year are not included in the dashboard.

Historical case information from April 2021, when in-person student activities and hybrid learning began, through Sept. 30, 2021, is also available on the district website, with dates listed from February 2021 (when athletics started) through September 2021.

The largest number of cases from that period include 30 staff at the administrative offices, 30 staff at Sawyer Woods Elementary, 27 students at Kentridge High, 27 students at Kentlake High, 23 students at Kentwood High, 21 students at Panther Lake Elementary and 20 students at Park Orchard Elementary.

The district announced it has provided masks and appropriate PPE to students and staff throughout the pandemic. This school year, the district has distributed more than 100,000 masks to students. In addition, it recently provided an additional allotment of disposable masks to all elementary schools.

COVID-19 testing at schools

The district also announced a partnership with Precision Lab Management to provide COVID-19 tests at all secondary schools, multiple times each week. Testing began this week for staff only, but starting Nov. 1 these testing sites will be open to all district students, families and staff.

The testing locations and schedules are intended to accommodate students, staff and families who are symptomatic and/or have testing requirements for work or activities.

The COVID-19 tests are free and there will be required information including a consent form and insurance information. Details about how to provide this information will be sent the week of Oct. 25 to families.

The district noted it will be essential to complete this information before your first test, or you will not be tested. If you are tested at one of the district sites, you will receive a text or email about your test results. The district will run a daily report to ensure each employee who received an approved exemption follows the seven-day negative test accommodation. The district will also run reports for student-athletes aligned to state Department of Health guidelines.

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