The Clark County School District has seen 613 COVID-19 cases among students and employees since the pandemic began, according to its new online case tracker.
The district announced Monday that it launched the new tracker. Of the cumulative districtwide cases since March 16, about half — 308 — were among school staff, 95 cases were reported among central staff and 210 among students.
“It is important to note that data utilized to update the dashboard are based on internally confirmed and self-reported COVID-19 positive lab results,” the district said in a news release this week. “The dashboard does not make a distinction between students who are in distance education, hybrid or face-to-face instruction models.”
The district, which has about 307,000 students and 40,000 employees, has been operating under fully distance education and students haven’t been in classrooms since mid-March, with the exception of seven rural schools that reopened in late August.
Some employees have been working at school district facilities, but the district announced Wednesday it plans to transition many to telecommuting for the rest of the month.
The district’s case tracker includes a breakdown of cases by school or district facility, ZIP code, trustee zone and type of facility, such as elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. The district is withholding case numbers less than 10, citing privacy reasons.
The school district is reporting case numbers on its website, but that doesn’t mean those who tested positive contracted the virus while at a district facility.
Until this week, the school district had a weekly report on its website, but it included only the total number of student and employee cases. As of Friday’s report — which is no longer online — 573 coronavirus cases were noted.
The new case tracking website’s cumulative total is 40 cases higher, but it’s unclear whether those are additional cases. The district reported fewer than 10 new cases this week and only 29 so far this month.
Since the pandemic began, elementary schools have accounted for 250 coronavirus cases, while 118 cases were reported at middle schools and 153 at high schools.
The ZIP codes with the largest number of cases are: 39 cases in 89121 (east Las Vegas), 34 cases in 89110 (east Las Vegas), 31 cases in 89030 (North Las Vegas), 28 cases in 89107 (central valley), 27 cases in 89074 (Henderson’s Green Valley area) and 27 cases in 89131 (northwest valley).
“Zip code tracking is based upon the school or office location where the student or staff member is assigned,” according to the school district’s website.
College and university cases
COVID-19 case rates are trending upward at Southern Nevada colleges and universities, but school officials say numbers still remain low. And schools are offering the vast majority of their classes remotely this semester.
UNLV — which has more than 31,000 students — reported 48 new cases last week, all but seven of which affected students. It’s the largest weekly number of student cases since early July, the oldest data available on the university’s website.
In total, UNLV has seen 375 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. Of those, 180 were on campus while infectious.
UNLV epidemiologist Brian Labus, who serves on Gov. Steve Sisolak’s COVID-19 medical advisory team, said Wednesday the university’s case numbers are “still reflecting what’s going on in our community” and haven’t driven an outbreak.
“I’m really proud of how things are going on campus,” he said, noting numbers have been low throughout the entire semester.
A couple of student parties earlier in the semester led to some virus spread, but officials haven’t identified any other case clusters, Labus said.
UNLV announced in late October it plans to keep its current calendar in place, including Thanksgiving and spring breaks.
Executive Vice President/Provost Chris Heavey said Tuesday that faculty and staff are being encouraged to minimize their presence on campus. And he said there are worries about a post-Thanksgiving spike in case numbers.
The university will minimize its operations around the Christmas and New Years holidays, although campus as a whole won’t be closed, he said. And for spring semester, about 80 percent of classes will be offered remotely — a similar percentage as fall semester.
University of Nevada, Reno, which has about 20,700 students, has reported 795 student cases and 69 faculty/staff cases since the pandemic began. The university announced last month that it plans to switch to fully remote instruction after Thanksgiving for the rest of fall semester and will cancel spring break.
College of Southern Nevada, which has 27,000 students, has reported 137 cases among students and 28 among employees. And Nevada State College in Henderson, which has more than 7,000 students, has seen 33 cases among students and five among employees.
CCSD board to take up hybrid question
The Clark County School Board will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday via video conferencing to consider whether to reopen schools under a hybrid model, with students attending two days a week in-person and three days a week via distance learning. If approved, employees would return to work locations Dec. 1 and students to classrooms in phases starting in January.
To watch a live stream of the meeting, visit reviewjournal.com. Public comments can be submitted by 2 p.m. Thursday to Boardmtgcomments@nv.ccsd.net.