Number of LPPS students, employees in quarantine drops over last two weeks, superintendent reports

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FILE – In this July 24, 2020 file photo, Fairfax County Public School buses are lined up at a maintenance facility in Lorton, Va. The Justice Department is highlighting a number of actions school officials should take to increase safety, including improving mental health resources, monitoring social media accounts and improving physical safety measures. The report was released Tuesday and was a culmination of a federal school safety working group. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (LIVINGSTONPARISHNEWS)- The number of Livingston Parish Public Schools students and employees that are in quarantine due to the novel coronavirus has decreased over the last two weeks, according to information from Superintendent Joe Murphy.

As of Sept. 4, there are around 200 LPPS students and employees currently in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 or coming into close contact with a positive case. Close contact is considered being within 6 feet of someone for at least 15 minutes.

Last month, Murphy said the district would release weekly updates pertaining to COVID-19. The release, which goes out Friday every, includes “any update on COVID-19 related news or numbers and our progress during this challenging time.”

The weekly update does not include information that can personally identify a student, family member, or employees, and it does not include raw numbers, just the percentage of students and employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 or come into close contact with a positive case.

As of Friday, Murphy said that 0.0006 percent of the district’s students are in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. Another 0.0068 percent are considered to have been in close contact with someone who tested positive and are also in quarantine.

Based on the district’s roughly 26,000 student enrollment, that equates to less than 17 positive tests among students with 177 who came into close contact.

On Sept. 4, Murphy said that 0.001 percent of the district’s employees have tested positive for COVID-19, while less than one percent are considered to have been in close contact with someone who tested positive.

Based on the district’s 4,000 employees, that equates to roughly four positive tests among staff members and seven who came into close contact.

“We want to thank everyone in our school community for helping us follow state guidelines for distancing and cleaning practices,” Murphy said. “Remaining diligent in these efforts is our best strategy for managing the condition during the pandemic.”

In other news, Murphy said that the district continues to make progress on obtaining and distributing new computers to students who need them for virtual learning.

This week, the school system received 1,000 new laptops, with another 1,000 to be shipped this week. Murphy hopes the devices will be available to schools after Labor Day break.

The superintendent also invited people to a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Southside campus. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 26353 La. Highway 16 in Denham Springs.

The $45-million, state-of-the-art Southside Campus will include the newly constructed Southside Elementary and Southside Junior High School. The original campuses of both schools were significantly damaged by the August 2016 flood.

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