A 42 Charter School employee holds a digital touchless thermometer to take students' temperatures as they return to school.

The NOLA Public Schools district is tracking 21 “active” COVID-19 cases among staff and students as of this week, leading to 305 quarantines, according to the district’s weekly case-tracking data posted Monday afternoon. The case count is double last week’s numbers, when the district reported 11 cases and 169 people in quarantine.

Of the current cases, 14 were reported in the last week — the highest single week total since early March.

Of the current cases, 7 are in staff and 14 are in students. They are spread across 16 campuses. Several campuses have one or two cases and roughly 30 people in quarantine. Morris Jeff High School has one student case and two staff cases that led to 52 people in quarantine.

The city’s health data has held relatively steady over the last few weeks, averaging 15 new cases per day over the course of a week with 0.8 percent of tests coming back positive. While Gov. John Bel Edwards lifted the state’s mask mandate, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city’s mandate would remain in place

NOLA Public Schools spokeswoman Taslin Alfonzo confirmed the district’s requirement to wear masks in schools would continue as well. 

Last Friday, all businesses that adhere to the city’s social distancing and mask requirements were able to open to 100 percent capacity. Capacity limits were raised to 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors. Vaccination progress has slowed a bit, though anyone older than 16 now eligible for a vaccine. Just over 43 percent of the city’s residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination and almost 37 percent are fully vaccinated.

The school district is also offering to help high schools connect with health providers to provide vaccinations on site to eligible and interested students.

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...