This evening, Chief Operations Officer Jorge Robles presented an update on COVID-19 health data to the Tulsa Board of Education. The update included a review of the key data that the district uses to assess health and safety conditions in the district and surrounded areas.
- We have three categories of metrics that we monitor on a weekly basis: early warning indicators, foundational school system metrics, and foundational health care metrics.
- Each week we actively monitor this information through our Health Data working group.
- If one of these metrics hits a threshold, or if we detect an early warning from one of our indicators, it triggers an evaluation and discussion with our Health Data working group.
- Based on the group’s assessment, we would take one of four types of potential actions:
- No changes necessary at this time.
- Additional monitoring of all data points coupled with increased, targeted rapid COVID testing.
- Shift from in-person to full distance learning at a specific classroom, school, or multiple schools.
- Change the default mode of instruction for some or all grade levels through a formal recommendation to the Board of Education.
Some of the key insight’s from tonight’s data review include:
Early Warning Indicators
- Over the last week, our contact tracing numbers have doubled; we believe this is relative to the increase in people in our buildings.
- Out of a total of 624 PK-3 classrooms district-wide, 22 (3.5% of classrooms, and 6 in one school) were shifted to distance for this week;
- 5 athletic teams (representing two schools) are in quarantine.
- Our case count totals for the week of Nov. 16 – Nov. 20 are:
- “Close Contact” Exposures: 377
- Potential Exposures: 0
- Reports of Confirmed Cases: 38
- Our detailed weekly case count report will be available on our website at www.tulsaschools.org/casecount by tomorrow afternoon.
- Our schools have strong practices and protocols in place; based on our current data, COVID-19 exposures are happening outside of our schools.
- This trend is consistent with the experiences of school districts in our area and beyond.
School System Metrics
- We are maintaining adequate levels of personal protective equipment across the system.
- Due to team members on leave or in quarantine/isolation, staffing levels are stretched but not yet critical.
- Our Transportation and Custodial teams are at capacity; our Child Nutrition team has shifted secondary staff to support meal service at elementary;
- Our health services team continues to experience shortages due to leaves and quarantines, the Student and Family Support Services team is providing coverage at impacted school sites;
- We continue to face a shortage of substitute teachers; early childhood teacher assistants are helping to cover classes.
- The Talent Management team continues to process leave of absence requests that represent less than 1% of staff at this moment in time.
- One elementary school shifted to distance learning. Due to a combination of staffing challenges and external COVID-19 close contacts we have inadequate capacity to support in-person learning until 12/2.
Health Care Metrics
- The 7-day rolling average for Tulsa County has reached the 50+ threshold.
- While Tulsa Country rates are increasing, the rates in our district boundary and for students ages 5-17 are also increasing but continue to be below the county average.
- Without additional safety measures outside of schools and if nothing changes in surrounding areas, it is likely that our rates will increase.