Community case numbers at PA dropped for the second consecutive week. That is encouraging, especially since cases among school-age children in Minnesota rose during this same period. Reported symptoms continue to be mild to moderate. Kids at home with the bug are recovering and returning to school on schedule, and with antibodies. That is our sustained experience thus far, and comports with what is known about the very low risks of COVID in this age cohort.
Current community cases (as of Monday afternoon the 11th) are in the Lower School only. Multiple cases are within a single family; household transmission is common. As mentioned last week, there may be cases of in-school transmission as well. KN95 masking and SimulClassroom options remain available for families who seek special mitigation measures.
We have families, and a couple faculty and staff members, who have experienced “breakthrough” cases. What we are hearing–admittedly anecdotally but also consonant with how respiratory vaccines tend to work–is that the symptoms on average tend to be lesser. I say “on average” because one PA dad I spoke with was quite hard hit by a breakthrough case. He received an available therapeutic treatment, which significantly reduced symptoms and speeded recovery.
I’m linking updated versions of graphs we’ve posted of MDH data. These show, by age cohorts, numbers of tests and cases, and non-ICU and ICU hospitalizations where COVID is a factor. Takeaways: testing and case numbers among Minnesota school-age children have continued their recent rise, and the numbers tend to correlate; hospitalization numbers are low and stable with modest weekly fluctuations, and do not correlate with testing and case numbers. In other words, more kids are testing positive for the sickness without more kids getting sicker.
We feature an update to our “COVID-Time Health Policies 2021-22” webpage today, the last bullet point in the “Lab-Confirmed Cases of COVID, and Quarantining” section. It specifies a reduced quarantine for a COVID-free student with a COVID-positive household member.
Click on a graph below to enlarge it.