Pam Yoder, project manager for the Jeffco Public Schools COVID Response Team, gave the Jeffco Board of Education an update on COVID numbers the District has seen thus far in the 2021 - 22 school year.
Yoder, speaking at the board’s Dec. 9 meeting, started with an overview of vaccination rates through Dec. 6., drawing from case numbers and statistics available on the Jeffco Schools COVID Dashboard,
She said Jeffco students aged 5-11 have a vaccination rate of 30.7%. That percentage climbs considerably for students aged 12-15, to 72.2%. District students aged 16-19 are vaccinated at a rate of 70.9%.
Yoder said total staff (13,000+ employees) have an 81.8% vaccination rate, with 6.6% unvaccinated and 11.6% that have not reported. She said the “have not reported” category is made up primarily of charter schools who are collecting data locally, guest teachers and substitutes not actively working at this time.
When you break the numbers down even further, total core staff — educators, education support professionals and administrators, have an 89.8% vaccination rate, with 7.6% (approximately 730) remaining unvaccinated. About 250 core staff members (2.6%) have not yet reported their status.
Staff and student incident rates
Since the beginning of the school year, there have been 4,104 staff and student cases combined.
The COVID Dashboard shows an uptick in cases as the year has gone on, with occasional dips. For context, the first week of school, there were 82 combined cases. The week after Thanksgiving, the district saw 538 total cases — 494 students and 44 staff members.
There have been 3,392 quarantines since Aug. 15.
Broken down by grade level, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students had the highest prevalence of cases reported, while Pre-K, seventh and eighth grades had the lowest.
Overall, elementary schools have seen a spike which Yoder said was due, in part, to the Delta Variant and the vaccine not being available to the majority of those students until recently.
There have been 29 outbreaks since the beginning of the school year. The District defines an outbreak as a school with 5 or more cases of COVID-19, of which at least one case has had a positive molecular amplification test or antigen test among students, teachers and staff from separate households, with the onset within 14 days in a single classroom activity or other close contact in-school setting.
According to Patrick Simpson, the District’s Executive Director of Athletics and Activities, no entire athletics team or activities program has been quarantined. He said schools have continued to offer a full range of extracurricular activities this school year.
Current district testing numbers show a 1.3% positivity rate out of 15,631 students tested as of Dec. 6.
The percentage for staff was a bit lower at 0.9% of 9,171 employees tested during the same timeframe.
As of the Dec. 9, meeting, there were 11 Jeffco high schools in outbreak status.