BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Less than a week back from the holiday break, Bossier public schools are already seeing an increase in the number of students and staff who are out due to the coronavirus.

District officials say the virus is affecting some schools more than others. There’s been a number of reported cases in Plain Dealing, where the coronavirus is spreading among students and staff at the Pre-K through 12th-grade campus.

The district says the absence rate is not only from people testing positive, but it’s also from people who must isolate after potential exposure to the virus.

“We are being very creative when it comes to staffing,” said district spokesperson Sonja Bailes. “We obviously use our substitute pool that we do have, and we also have our administrators at the school base level stepping in to teach in some of the classrooms, and then in other cases, our curriculum department.”

Before the holiday break, Bossier schools were averaging around 30 new cases among students and three staff per week since the beginning of October, according to data reported weekly to the Louisiana Department of Health. The next report, and the first reflecting new cases among students and staff since the return to school, will be released on December 12.

Bailes says the district is anticipating the surge in COVID cases to continue over the next few weeks, particularly among elementary students.

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