As adults continue to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, are the risks of having children attending school in-person declining?
An initial set of data from one San Joaquin Valley school district indicates a simple answer: yes.
COVID-19 cases in Clovis Unified School District have decreased drastically over the last few months, mirroring the totals seen throughout Fresno County.
According to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, there were 51 positive coronavirus cases identified across Clovis Unified sites.
That total was comprised of 35 staff members and 16 students.
At the beginning of February, Fresno County as a whole was averaging over 200 new positive cases daily.
Two-thirds of the way through April, Clovis Unified has reported 11 cases: 3 staff members and 11 students.
To compare, Fresno County is currently averaging less than 50 new cases every day.
The stark improvement comes as the district has operated with nearly 21,000 students on its campuses for in-person instruction, which makes up about half of the student population, a Clovis Unified spokesperson told The Sun. The other half has remained on distance learning.
Students across Clovis Unified are on campus every day of the week, although each school site may offer different specific scheduling tracks.
All secondary schools have students staying home with distance learning on Mondays, followed by a half-day schedule the rest of the week.
With four positive cases, Clovis North High School had the most cases out of any district site in February. That total rose to six in March and has since dropped to one in April.
Clovis North’s combined total of on-campus personnel – including students, faculty, and staff – 736. That translates to an infection rate of 0.13 percent during the month of April.
Seven other Clovis campuses reported three cases in March, including five elementary schools.
In March, Clovis East High School reported the most cases out of any campus for a single month: 10. Those cases have been dealt with as Clovis East has yet to report a single case in April.
Clovis East has a total of 1,492 students and staff on campus.
Two elementary schools – Copper Hills and Temperance-Kutner – each have reported two cases apiece in April. No other Clovis Unified site has had more than one positive COVID-19 case this month.
Those two elementary schools have 137 and 276 total students and staff on site, respectively.