From June 2021, seventeen-year-old Terrence receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Booker T. Washington High School after the CDC lowers the eligibility age to 12. (Marta Jewson/The Lens)

The NOLA Public Schools district is tracking nine “active” cases of COVID-19 among students and school employees as summer school continues throughout the city, according to its weekly case tracking report released on Monday. The nine cases, four of which were newly reported in the last week, have led 104 people to quarantine. Both figures are higher than reported last week but still well below the case counts the district was reporting prior to summer break

Of the nine cases, two are staff and seven are students, and they are spread across eight campuses. District officials estimate that roughly 13,000 of the district’s 45,000 students are enrolled in summer school. 

Of the 104 people in quarantine, one-third are tied to one student case at Harriet Tubman Charter School. 

The city is averaging 13 new cases per day with 2.1 percent test positivity, according to city health data. Nearly 50 percent of city residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and almost 45 percent are fully vaccinated. New Orleans is outpacing vaccination rates in other parts of the state, but Louisiana has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Public health officials continue to encourage people to get the vaccine even as vaccination rates slow. They also say a key component of slowing the spread of the virus will be vaccinating children as soon as they become eligible to help increase the percentage of the population protected from the most serious effects of the virus. Experts worry there could be surges of the virus in communities with low vaccination rates.

The district is also continuing to try to help students 12 and older access the vaccine and vaccine trials have begun for children over the age of 5. 

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...