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Story County school districts report positive cases, quarantines

Kiley Wellendorf
Ames Tribune

Across Story County, school districts have created online portals reporting the number of students and staff who are currently in quarantine or have tested positive for COVID-19.

The following school districts have provided an update on COVID-19 cases across their student and staff population.

As of 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Story County has a 14-day average positivity rate of 17.5%, according to the state's coronavirus website. 

Ames school district 

On Monday, the district reported less than six positive cases among students and staff in all district buildings including preschool and elementary, middle school and Ames High. Additionally, less than six remote students in middle school and high school have also tested positive for COVID-19. 

Last week, all buildings at the district moved to a fully remote, online learning model due to Story County's rise in positivity, in addition to a spike in staff cases. 

As part of Monday's COVID-19 update, the district added in clarification in regards to staff absence rates, which have been revised to include — and not limited to — those with a positive test or a pending test, as well as those self-quarantining after having contact with an individual who tested positive. 

A total of 74 students and 24 staff are currently in quarantine at the district, according to Monday's report. Less than six staff members at the high school are also in quarantine. 

Ames Pre-school/Elementary

  • Confirmed COVID-19 positive – (students) less than six; (remote) 0; (staff) less than six
  • Quarantined as "close contacts" – (students) 38; (remote) N/A;  (staff) 13
  • Five-day average daily absence rate – (students) Remote; (remote) N/A; (staff) 6.18%

Ames Middle School

  • Confirmed COVID-19 positive –  (students) less than six; (remote) less than six; (staff) less than six
  • Quarantined as "close contacts" – (students) 17; (remote) N/A; (staff) 11
  • Five-day average daily absence rate – (students) Remote; (remote)  N/A; (staff) 13.59%

Ames High School

  • Confirmed COVID-19 positive – (students) less than six; (remote) less than six; (staff) less than six
  • Quarantined as "close contacts" – (students) 19; (remote) N/A; (staff) less than six
  • Five-day average daily absence rate – (students) Remote; (remote)  N/A; (staff) 6.27%

Ballard school district

A total of 14 students and seven staff members at the Ballard school district have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday, according to Ballard's online COVID-19 tracker. 

Over the last week, 63 students were placed in quarantine, bringing the total number of students in quarantine to 128, according to Friday's report. Additionally, nine staff members were also quarantined. 

The Ballard school district has a 5-day average absentee rate for illness only of 2.42%, the district reported. 

Gilbert school district

As of Friday, seven students and four staff members had tested positive for the virus, according to an update from the district. 

A total of 60 students and seven staff members at the district are in quarantine as a result of being in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. 

Additionally, the district reported information pertaining to absentee rates among students and staff due to illness: 

  • District – 2.63%
  • High School – 4.30%
  • Middle School – 1.20%
  • Intermediate – 2.60%
  • Elementary – 1.71%

Nevada school district

Since Nov. 7, the Nevada school district has had five students – two high school, two middle school and one Central Elementary students – and three staff members test positive for COVID-19. As a result of the positive cases, Public Health has placed seven students and eight high school students in a 14-day quarantine.

To date, the district has had 29 individuals, including staff, students and employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Nevada school district, according to Nevada's positive test notifications. 

The five separate cases were reported Nov. 10 through Nov. 15 by the district, where contact tracing identified a total of 60 individuals at the district. 

However, Public Health only issued a 14-day quarantine for 16 individuals due to unmasked situations. 

Across the district, Nevada reported absentee rates for illness, and as a result of being in quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure as well as due to a positive COVID-19 case. 

As of Thursday, Nov. 12, the following statistics were reported by the district for that time: 

Central Elementary

  • Absentee rate due to quarantine: 2.76%
  • Absentee rate due to COVID-19 positive: 0.00%

Nevada Middle School

  • Absentee rate due to quarantine: 7.76%
  • Absentee rate due to COVID-19 positive: 0.97%

Nevada High School

  • Absentee rate due to quarantine: 3.10%
  • Absentee rate due to COVID-19 positive: 0.85%

As of Thursday, the district had an overall absentee rate of 2.14%, which includes both the number of students ill and also COVID-19 positive cases.

Roland-Story school district

Three students and two staff members currently have COVID-19 at the Roland-Story school district, according to a Monday morning update on the district's website. 

As of Monday at 8:30 a.m., the district reported five positive cases in the district, which includes three students and one staff member. Since Aug. 24, 16 students and seven staff members have tested positive for the virus. 

In the update, the Roland-Story school district shared it will not share further details of the positive cases in order to respect student and staff confidentiality: "Identifying students by building or grade level jeopardizes our ability to keep individual health information confidential," the district wrote in Monday's online update.

"If members of our school community do not feel we are doing our best to keep personal information confidential, we run the risk of families no longer sharing important health-related information with us," the district wrote.

The Colo-NESCO and Collins-Maxwell school districts in Story County do not have online COVID-19 case dashboards on their websites.