Reported cases of COVID-19 cases among Indiana's K-12 students jumped back up this week, after taking a dip around the Thanksgiving holiday.
There were 4,321 new cases reported among students this week, the highest number of newly-reported cases since mid-September. Cases among students had dropped consistently for nearly two months until they began to tick back up at the start of last month. In addition to student cases, 265 new cases were reported among teachers and another 442 among other staff members.
The sharp increase in new cases, particularly among students, mirrors an increase seen more generally across the state. Indiana's moving average of new cases is approaching 5,000 cases, the highest it has been since January, and the seven-day positivity rate is now over 14%.
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School-aged children are all eligible for vaccination now, but rates among young people remain low.
Nearly 12% of children ages 5 to 11 have had one shot at this time, according to the state’s vaccine dashboard. For ages 12 to 15, it's just above 40% and for 16 to 19, it's just above 46%.
With this week’s numbers, reported on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard for schools, the total of student cases this year is 52,986. In October, reported cases among K-12 students in the state topped the number reported among students all of last school year. However, teacher and staff case totals are about half of those totals for last school year.
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This school year, 2,937 COVID-19 cases have been reported among teachers and 4,484 among other staff members.
These numbers are likely an undercount of what has actually been happening in the state's schools this year. Even though the reporting is required, 414 of the state's approximately 2,300 K-12 schools have not yet reported to the dashboard this school year.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indiana COVID-19 dashboard: More than 50K student cases this semester