By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Mid-Del Schools reported its first positive cases of COVID-19 for the new school year.
In a weekly report issued last Friday, officials said there were seven known positive cases of the virus from Aug. 31 – Sept. 4. The cases include students, teachers, support staff and administrators.
Officials said there were two cases each at Soldier Creek Elementary and Midwest City High School, and one each at Epperly Heights Elementary, Carl Albert Middle School and Midwest City Middle School.
The district had 58 individuals who were symptomatic or had come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. That was an increase of 55 from the first week of school. Close contacts consist of those that occurred outside of Mid-Del Schools as well as those within school facilities.
Mid-Del and many other metro school districts have started the year with an alternating A/B schedule that includes in-person instruction on certain days and remote learning on the others. The district shifted to the schedule due to the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma County.
The school district is using school safety protocols that were recommended by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and follow the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Oklahoma COVID-19 Alert System. The system includes four, color-coded stages for normal, low, moderate and high risk levels based on the rate of new positive cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in each county.
Superintendent Rick Cobb recommended the district start the year with the A/B schedule because the county was listed in the Orange or moderate risk stage. Cobb said the district will continue the A/B schedule until at least Sept. 25 but will reassess the plan next week.
Health officials last week said Oklahoma County’s COVID-19 rating for transmission spread had been downgraded from moderate to low risk. The moderate risk is more than 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 people, and the low risk is between 1.43 and 14.39 daily new cases.
As of Sept. 3, Oklahoma County had 13.19 cases per 100,000. On July 30, Oklahoma County had a rate of 19.74.
Cobb said he wants to see a downward trend for at least two weeks before returning to traditional five-day instruction.