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Orleans Parish students to continue distance learning for another week

Updated: Jan. 21, 2021 at 4:18 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Public Schools will continue virtual learning for at least another week.

School leaders say they’re a step closer to potentially offering in-person learning but they want to wait for more data.

District leaders say they’re looking at a number of things: testing, positivity rate, hospitalizations and new case counts.

They say the daily case count isn’t quite where they’d like it to be.

Three weeks ago, Orleans Parish Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis says they were forced to return to distance learning because of the jump in COVID positivity rate.

The city’s positivity rate dropped from about 10 percent to nearly 6 percent.

Leaders say this is promising but they’re also looking at the city’s high hospital occupancy of around 75 percent.

The issue is now the new case count. According to Chief Operations Officer Tiffany Delcour, those numbers haven’t stayed low for weeks.

“We know that our positivity test rate us really low and exactly where we want it to be. New cases aren’t yet there and we want to make sure it’s part of a trend,” says Delcour. “Our new cases have been declining for the past week and a half. We’d like that to be a two full week trend before we make any substantial decisions.”

Leaders say if new daily case counts were under 50 and hospitalizations and the positivity rate drops, then they will consider in-person learning.

OPPS adds that they plan to look at the data again next week.

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