Nearly 1,000 DC Public School students, staff in quarantine

Officials with DC Public Schools sent out a notice with new details on the number of COVID cases among students and staff across the district Wednesday. 

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The letter states that as of Sept. 7, 40 staff members tested positive as well as 73 students. These cases range across 37 schools, leading to 118 staff and 847 students being quarantined. 

The numbers include the outbreak at Johnson Middle School, where the entire sixth grade class of 129 students were determined to be close contacts of a reported case and are currently learning virtually.

RELATED: Prince George’s County students return to classroom as US COVID-19 cases climb

"Informing a school community when there is a positive reported case of COVID-19 in their building is one of our three pillars for a healthy and safe learning environment," the letter read. "When an individual reports a positive COVID-19 test, trained contact tracers determine who is a close contact and those individuals are provided with instructions to quarantine." 

DC Public Schools joins several other districts in the area quarantining hundreds of students due to COVID-19. 

Last week, Montgomery County Public Schools announced that about 1,000 of their students and staff were in quarantine as a result of their updated policy. 

Fairfax County Public Schools says the school district is exploring how to connect students to their classes if they are out on quarantine. Parents whose students had to quarantine the second week of school said a virtual option is necessary and believe there should be one in place already.

RELATED: More than 1 in 4 new COVID-19 cases are now in children, report says

A new report shows more than one in four coronavirus cases are among children — the highest ratio since the pandemic began and record numbers of children are being hospitalized with COVID-19, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The surge in cases and quarantines has left many parents wondering what steps schools will take to keep their kids safe through the school year. 

As of right now, studies on the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness in younger children are still underway.

Moderna said it expects to have enough data to apply for FDA authorization to vaccinate younger children by late this year or early 2022, and Pfizer has said it expects to apply in September for children ages 5 through 11.