Why an 895% rise in COVID-19 cases at Clovis Unified is not as bad as it seems

Coronavirus

UPDATE: This story has been updated to provide context for the positive case numbers provided by the district’s COVID-19 dashboard and to account for limited reporting during the winter holiday vacation at Clovis Unified schools.

CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Reported COVID-19 cases at Clovis Unified School District are up by 895% – when comparing this week’s numbers to last week’s numbers according to data posted to the district’s website, but officials say that number is not as bad as it looks.

There wasn’t a sudden spike, cases just aren’t reported over the holidays since students are not in school.

Although the information published on the school district’s COVID-19 dashboard on Wednesday showed 398 staff and student positive cases across the district this week (between Jan. 3 and Jan. 9), when compared to 40 cases last week (between Dec. 27 and Jan. 2), officials say the numbers aren’t indicative of the reality of the situation at Clovis Unified schools.

In the week prior, only eight cases were reported district-wide (the week between Dec. 20 and Dec. 26), but in reality, students’ last day of classes before the winter holidays were Dec. 17. With very few students and limited staff on Clovis Unified campuses, officials say the holiday vacation saw limited reporting and logging of COVID-19 cases creating an inflated 895% increase in cases.

“Data from this week and next week will give us a sense of what case counts are doing in our student and staff population,” said Kelly Avants with the Clovis Unified School District. “But to compare last week or the week before with this week is like comparing apples to onions.”

It was announced that the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools is making arrangements to issue COVID-19 tests to school districts.

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