Oct 4, 2022 - COVID

COVID cases are low in D.C. schools, but data reporting has changed

Illustration of a school bus with a covid bug on its stop sign.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

COVID-19 cases in D.C.’s public schools remain low a month into the academic year — although the data available is much less detailed than last year and it’s harder to make comparisons.

Why it matters: COVID in schools is a much different story this year than last. Most students are able to be vaccinated and more vaccine requirements are in place.

  • As of Sept. 28, 90 DCPS students have tested positive and are in isolation. Forty-nine personnel are also positive and in isolation. As of this date last year, 477 students were positive and in isolation — and cases soon topped the thousands during the initial winter Omicron surge.

Yes, but: Experts tell ABC News it can be difficult to compare this year’s data to last year's because current masking and testing guidance is less robust.

What’s happening: In D.C., data reporting for schools has also changed. While DCPS continues to post case counts for each school on a daily and weekly basis, DC Health has not published data broken down by grade level or by public, private, and charter schools since June 2022.

State of play: DC Health posts weekly case counts on Wednesdays. The agency did not respond to Axios' questions about these data reporting changes.

Zoom out: Arlington County, Fairfax County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County public schools also keep a school-by-school dashboard of case counts — with most counties reporting similarly low case counts over the past week.


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