Over 350 students in the Iowa City Community School District under quarantine for COVID-19

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 10:29 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) -As of Friday, more than 350 students in the Iowa City Community School District are currently under quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19., which is 2.37% of the district. According to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, 160 of those are from Northwest Junior High, which is up from 117 last week.

Tara Martin has two sons in the Iowa City Community School District. Her 5th grader is learning in-person at Lucas Elementary, but he’s had to quarantine twice since January. “So, 29 families having to find something to do with your child, again for second two-week quarantine in a matter of a couple of months,” says Martin, “Until he can get tested and we can get results he hast to be isolated at home and that’s really hard for a 10-year-old, to be in his room by himself, he’s gotta wear a mask anytime he goes out of his room.”

She says her son returned to school after the second quarantine earlier this week. Fewer than 10 students at Lucas Elementary are currently under quarantine and fewer than 10 are confirmed positive for COVID-19.

Martin’s family isn’t alone. The district’s COVID-19 dashboard is reporting 352 students currently quarantining. 160 of those are at Northwest Junior High. But, less than 10 students at that school are confirmed positive for COVID-19.

Martin says one of her concerns is her son’s class size. She says without a hybrid option, there are 30 students in his class all learning together. ”It’s wall-to-wall desks, nobody can move or get out of their seat, everyone has to stay where they are they are, it’s just. We anticipate that we will be cycling back into quarantine again before the school year ends,” says Martin.

Kristin Pedersen, a spokesperson for the Iowa City Community School District said in a statement to KCRG-TV9: “Due to positive cases of Covid-19 at Northwest Junior High, there have been a significant number of individuals that have had to be placed in quarantine due to close contact. The District is committed to our health and safety practices and we will continue to evaluate each positive Covid-19 case based on guidance from JCPH, IDPH, and the CDC.”

The district only has a 0.45% positivity rate for students as of Thursday, which is lower than Johnson County’s positivity rate of 3.1%.

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