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35 LPS staff members self-quarantining because of COVID symptoms, exposure
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35 LPS staff members self-quarantining because of COVID symptoms, exposure

From the Milestones in Nebraska's coronavirus fight series

During the first week of school, 35 Lincoln Public Schools staff members self-quarantined either because they began exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or had a “high-risk” contact with someone who has the virus.

That’s among the statistics — as of 4 p.m. Wednesday — on a new dashboard LPS plans to update weekly with the number of positive cases in schools as well as the number of staff self-quarantining during that time period. LPS said it would release its dashboard weekly on Thursdays.

The numbers don’t distinguish between students and staff, nor whether the staff members are teachers or other staff who would have much less contact with students. LPS said that's to protect their privacy.

Lincoln Southwest freshman football team member positive for COVID-19

LPS employs more than 6,000 people, including more than 3,600 teachers and nearly 200 administrators. More than 42,000 students attend LPS, more than 8,000 of whom have opted for remote learning because of the pandemic.

The four cases include three at schools: two at Cavett Elementary on Tuesday and one member of Southwest’s freshman football team reported last week. Presumably the fourth case is someone at one of the other LPS buildings such as the district office, operations, transportation or the distribution center.

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Douglas County Health Department officials reported 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Omaha-area schools as of Tuesday night, including 17 students and 18 staff members.

Another 152 students, staff and faculty who had close contact with those who are ill were in quarantine.

Douglas County Health Department Director Adi Pour said she was surprised more cases haven't been confirmed but attributed that in part to Omaha Public Schools’ decision to teach remotely. Positive cases have been confirmed at the Millard, Gretna and Ralston school districts in recent days, she said.

Lincoln's Cavett Elementary reports two positive COVID-19 cases
LPS has some technology glitches on first day of remote learning, but lots of kids log on
High school students: It's weird, but good to be back in school

Photos: Lincoln during the pandemic

Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or

On Twitter @LJSreist

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Education reporter

Margaret Reist is a Lincoln native, the mom of three high school graduates now navigating college and an education junkie who covers students, teachers and policymakers inside and outside the K-12 classroom.

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