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Norman Public Schools released the first of its new weekly reports on COVID-19 in schools Monday, showing new case and quarantine numbers at every district school site over the last week.

The public report, available on the district’s site and via a letter to parents and staff, breaks down new cases and isolations/quarantines in staff and students at all 24 NPS schools.

The report does not show the current number of active cases or total cumulative cases at school sites, but shows the new cases reported during a specific time frame.

According to the district, NPS will release a report each Monday that shows new cases and isolation and quarantine numbers from the previous Saturday to the previous Friday. For the purposes of NPS' report, isolation applies to individuals who have tested positive and are isolating, while quarantine applies to individuals who have been in close contact with a known positive case.

This week’s report, which covers Sept. 5-11, shows that Norman High School was by far the hardest hit by the virus in the last week. During that time period, NHS reported 15 new cases (one in a staff member and 14 in students), 18 staff in isolation or quarantine and 98 students isolating or quarantined.

Norman North High School had two new cases (both in students), three staff isolating/quarantined and 65 students isolating or quarantined.

While several of the elementary and middle schools did not report any new cases from Sept. 5-11, most of those schools without cases still had students and/or staff quarantining (presumably from exposure outside of school). None of the elementary or middle schools had more than one positive student and/or one positive staff member from Sept. 5-11.

Dimensions Academy, Whittier Middle School and Lakeview, Jefferson, Adams and Jackson elementaries were the only school sites that did not report either new cases or student/staff quarantines from Sept. 5-11.

The report comes three weeks into the school year, two weeks after many elementary students returned to in-person instruction and nearly a week after secondary students started in-person learning. During the first week of school, the district did not directly respond to questions from The Transcript about whether it would be tracking or publicly reporting cases and quarantine numbers, instead noting that individuals and school sites impacted by positive cases would be notified.

Late last week, the district announced it would be regularly sharing case information via publicly available, weekly reports. NPS joins other large public schools districts across the state — including Tulsa Union Public Schools to Edmond Public Schools — in reporting data publicly.

NPS is continuing in-person learning this week after Cleveland County reached an Orange Level 2 (more than 25 and less than 50 cases per 100,00 people) last Friday. Should the county remain at Orange Level 2 this Friday, students currently learning in person will start learning remotely again next Monday; should the county go back to Orange Level 1, students learning in person this week will remain in person next week (with middle and high schoolers on alternating schedules).

This week's full report is available at bit.ly/2Rte2LP.

Emma Keith covers Norman Public Schools and the University of Oklahoma for The Transcript. Reach her at ekeith@normantranscript.com or at @emma_ckeith.

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