The Grapevine

Louisiana Reports Over 900 New Coronavirus Cases As Schools Prepare To Reopen

With most states in the reopening phases, a bump in the number of COVID-19 cases was feared. And that is happening now with latest reports from the Louisiana Department of Health revealing 938 more coronavirus cases, 12 more deaths and 22 additional hospitalizations as of Thursday afternoon. With the concerning numbers, it taints plans of school reopenings in the region.

According to NOLA.com, the percentage of positive tests has been on the rise since May. However, there has been a notable spike. Aside from the numbers mentioned earlier on, mass testing has been increasing as well. There were a total of 12,160 test results returned recently with 7.71 percent of them being positive.

Based on the new data released, there have been 53,415 COVID-19 cases, 3,051 deaths and 653 patients in hospitals as of this writing. There were also 77 patients on ventilators. Roughly 39,792 patients are presumed to have recovered based on the latest tally as of Sunday. The charts of the latest data can be found here.

Louisiana started Phase 1 of its reopening plans on May 15 to 16. Phase 2 began on June 5. With the rising number of cases, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the state will remain in the current phase for 28 more days.

Related to that, it will be interesting if the recent developments will affect plans to reopen schools. New guidelines were released by the Louisiana Department of Education, although the manner of reopening has yet to be decided. There are three scenarios on the table: traditional, hybrid or remote learning. The guidelines were developed after discussions were held among various public health and school leaders and educators according to State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley, per WWLTV.

Preschoolers Children are photographed crossing the street. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Included in the guidelines were the best practices for students taking the bus and group sizes. Student monitoring will be done as well as food and meal services. High-touch surfaces like desks and doorknobs need to be cleaned before and after use. As far as sports, high-risk activities will be held off until Phase 3 is in place.

Schools will not be spared from dramatic adjustments, a new normal that is needed to safeguard students. Remote learning remains the ideal setup for now, especially with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise. This may vary and be situational. Unless a vaccine or proof that the coronavirus is contained, there are risks involved as far as holding classes the traditional way.

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