Hughson Covid Dashboard

Hughson Unified unveils COVID dashboard on its website
Posted on 09/17/2021
COVID Dashboard

Parents, community members and others interested in the Hughson Unified School District can now track COVID-related statistics from the district’s five campuses on their computers or smart phones.


Earlier this week, the district unveiled a COVID dashboard on its website. The link includes all positive confirmed cases for individuals who have been on campus within close contact of others for HUSD or school-supervised instruction or activities during their infectious period. Close contact is defined as any person within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.


The dashboard will be updated each week on Monday, said Carrie Duckart, Hughson’s assistant superintendent.


For example, the dashboard currently shows just two positive cases among Hughson’s 2,000 students – both at Ross Middle School. Another 28 students and staff deemed to be close contacts of the infected Ross students were placed in various stages of quarantine, depending upon their vaccination status and whether or not they were wearing masks at the time of the possible exposure.


The dashboard does not include students or staff who may have contracted the virus off-campus, as long as they didn’t come to school while they were considered contagious. 


“This only shows the students and staff who have been physically at school and caused a reason for a contact trace,” Duckart explained.


The dashboard was created in response to the consistent flow of questions from parents to district officials about the COVID situation since school began.


“Really, it’s just a way to be able to see how many cases there are,” Duckart said. “Especially in the first three weeks of school, we were inundated with cases and overwhelmed with testing. I think it helps inform. With all kids wearing masks, kids are pretty safe at school. But more information makes people feel better. It’s transparent. We’re not trying to exaggerate; we’re not trying to underplay anything. We’re just trying to keep people informed.”


Like many school districts in Stanislaus County, thanks to the highly contagious delta variant Hughson experienced a surge in positive COVID cases among students and staff when school began in mid-August. The district has had 105 students and 20 staff members test positive, leading to hundreds of people being put into one form of quarantine or another. The district was so busy trying to keep up with contact tracing – Duckart called it “all-consuming” -- that it had to hire extra clerks at the high school and middle school to help out.


Thankfully, as this week’s numbers show, the number of COVID cases and potential exposures have been reduced significantly in the past week.


“We’ve definitely seen a decrease in cases. When we opened, it was a lot. It’s gone way down,” said Duckart. “That doesn’t mean that’s how many cases there are in the community; it’s only how many cases have affected others at school. We have families who have COVID in the home and they call and tell us. We may have 15 or 20 families who have COVID, but as long as those kids aren’t at campus, they won’t be reflected on the dashboard.”


She said Hughson’s experience appears to mirror what’s going on in the county, which has seen COVID numbers remain stubbornly high compared to other locations in California.


“Our numbers are reflective in what’s happening in community,” Duckart said. “When the county was reporting 500 cases a week, we were swamped. When it went down to 200 a week, we saw some relief.”


To further combat the COVID pandemic, Hughson High will be the site of three upcoming mobile vaccination clinics organized by the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency in conjunction with the school district and the Sierra Vista Family Resources Center.


The mobile vaccination clinics will be from 3 to 6 p.m. on three Mondays – Sept. 27, Oct. 18 and Nov. 8. All Stanislaus County residents ages 12 and older are eligible to receive free COVID vaccinations. The shots will be first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccination, booster doses of Pfizer for those who are eligible as well as single-shot Johnson & Johnson doses.


The dates were scheduled three weeks apart so people may receive the first and second Pfizer doses on the recommended time frame.


The clinics will be held in Reeder Hall on the Hughson High campus. Parking is available in the main lot off Whitmore Avenue.

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