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November 19 Health Data Briefing

This evening, Chief Operations Officer Jorge Robles presented an update on COVID-19 health data to the Tulsa Board of Education. The update included a review of the key data that the district uses to assess health and safety conditions in the district and surrounded areas.

Our process

  • We have three categories of metrics that we monitor on a weekly basis: early warning indicators, foundational school system metrics, and foundational health care metrics.
  • Each week we actively monitor this information through our Health Data working group.
  • If one of these metrics hits a threshold, or if we detect an early warning from one of our indicators, it triggers an evaluation and discussion with our Health Data working group.
  • Based on the group’s assessment, we would take one of four types of potential actions:
  1. No changes necessary at this time.   
  2. Additional monitoring of all data points coupled with increased, targeted rapid COVID testing.
  3. Shift from in-person to full distance learning at a specific classroom, school, or multiple schools.         
  4. Change the default mode of instruction for some or all grade levels through a formal recommendation to the Board of Education.

Some of the key insight’s from tonight’s data review include:

Early Warning Indicators

  • Over the last week, our contact tracing numbers have doubled; we believe this is relative to the increase in people in our buildings.
    • Out of a total of 624 PK-3 classrooms district-wide, 22 (3.5% of classrooms, and 6 in one school) were shifted to distance for this week; 
    • 5 athletic teams (representing two schools) are in quarantine.
  • Our case count totals for the week of Nov. 16 – Nov. 20 are:
    • “Close Contact” Exposures: 377
    • Potential Exposures: 0
    • Reports of Confirmed Cases: 38
  • Our detailed weekly case count report will be available on our website at www.tulsaschools.org/casecount by tomorrow afternoon.
  • Our schools have strong practices and protocols in place; based on our current data, COVID-19 exposures are happening outside of our schools.
    • This trend is consistent with the experiences of school districts in our area and beyond.

School System Metrics

  • We are maintaining adequate levels of personal protective equipment across the system.
  • Due to team members on leave or in quarantine/isolation, staffing levels are stretched but not yet critical.
    • Our Transportation and Custodial teams are at capacity; our Child Nutrition team has shifted secondary staff to support meal service at elementary; 
    • Our health services team continues to experience shortages due to leaves and quarantines, the Student and Family Support Services team is providing coverage at impacted school sites;
    • We continue to face a shortage of substitute teachers; early childhood teacher assistants are helping to cover classes.
    • The Talent Management team continues to process leave of absence requests that represent less than 1% of staff at this moment in time.
  • One elementary school shifted to distance learning. Due to a combination of staffing challenges and external COVID-19 close contacts we have inadequate capacity to support in-person learning until 12/2.

Health Care Metrics

  • The 7-day rolling average for Tulsa County has reached the 50+ threshold.
  • While Tulsa Country rates are increasing, the rates in our district boundary and for students ages 5-17 are also increasing but continue to be below the county average. 

Other Considerations

  • Without additional safety measures outside of schools and if nothing changes in surrounding areas, it is likely that our rates will increase.