Sixty-seven new COVID cases were reported in town since last week, according to the Alameda County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard. COVID case counts in Piedmont on Tuesday stood at 1,011, up from 944 one week ago. (Case data is updated daily but may change as the county reconciles its records.) The uptick comes as case rates and hospitalizations rise all over the Bay Area; it may be an undercount due to widespread home testing:
The outline of the recent surge is now visible in black on the county chart:
Schools grappling with COVID outbreak
Last week in PUSD schools, 44 student and 11 staff cases were reported:
On May 7, Superintendent Randy Booker sent a message to families strongly recommending that students start wearing masks again if exposed to COVID. The email said that the rise in cases could impact the district’s ability to staff classrooms at a critical time of year.
As a result of the rising cases, students are already missing end-of-school-year academic, athletic, extracurricular, and social events, and the District is once again struggling to find substitute teachers. Due to the critical shortage of substitutes, COVID-positive teachers have been temporarily replaced with administrators and teachers from other subject areas. If the current case trends continue, a large number of students and staff will have difficulty finishing the school year.PUSD email May 7
Just three days later on May 10, families received another update, calling for mask-wearing regardless of recent exposure, citing that fact that “in the first two days of this week, there have already been 35 cases, and today 16 staff were absent because they either tested positive for or are recovering from COVID-19.”
COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise at an unprecedented rate in our schools. In the nine weeks that preceded Spring Break, the District had an average of eight COVID-19 cases per week. In the three weeks immediately following Spring Break, the average number of cases jumped to 43 per week. In the first two days of this week, there have already been 35 cases, and today 16 staff were absent because they either tested positive for or are recovering from COVID-19.
Due to the continuing shortage of substitute teachers, staff absences threaten our ability to keep schools open. To help reduce transmission of COVID-19 and protect in-person learning through the last few weeks of the school year, I am now urging that all students, staff and visitors to campus wear a well-fitting mask while indoors at school, regardless of recent exposure to COVID-19.PUSD email May 10
The last day of the school year is June 2.