Students at 42 Charter School have their temperatures checked on the first day of in-person classes since COVID-19 shuttered schools in March of 2020.

The NOLA Public Schools district reported 10 total “active” COVID-19 cases on Thursday — including six new cases — across eight schools, while the number of people quarantining dropped slightly to 160.

Of the 10 active cases, six are among students and four are among school staff. Once a case is old enough to no longer be considered “active” — as determined by the Louisiana Department of Health — the district stops listing it

This is one of the lowest weekly totals reported by the district but comes after a week of interruptions, including in COVID-19 testing, due to Hurricane Zeta.

The update came the same day the country shattered its one-day case record with more than 100,000 cases identified Thursday. While cases are surging in the Midwest and South, test positivity in north Louisiana has crept up, and hospitalizations are up across the state. On Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards extended the state’s phase 3 restrictions for another four weeks. Edwards has said the state will likely remain in this phase until a vaccine is widely available.

At Lusher High School, where there are two student cases, 86 people are quarantining. New Orleans students have been back on high school campuses for a few weeks. One week of classes was cancelled due to Hurricane Zeta damage and lasting power and phone and internet outages. Students returned to class Wednesday, after many were off for Election Day. 

This is the fifth week that the district has reported cases on its website. The district does not release a cumulative count, but based on what the district has released, the cumulative count over that time appears to be 42 cases: 12 cases in week one, four new cases in week two, 11 new cases in week three, nine in week four and six in week five.

The district’s dashboard breaks out cases by school site. 

The Louisiana Department of Health has recorded 100 cases of COVID-19 in staff and students in Orleans Parish since Sept. 3 when it began collecting such data. Schools self-report cases to LDH.

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...