Anchorage School District reports 36 active coronavirus cases

The Anchorage School District Education Center street sign (Mayowa Aina/Alaska Public Media)

There are 36 active coronavirus cases within the Anchorage School District, and 127 people in quarantine because of close contact with someone who’s infected.

That’s according to the district’s weekly case count released Friday. It comes as the district prepares to bring thousands of younger students back into classrooms on Nov. 16, and as the city — and the state — are in the midst of their largest surge of coronavirus cases yet.

The district says in addition to the 127 people in quarantine, five high school sports programs have entire teams or parts of teams in quarantine: East High football, Service High football, Service High basketball open gym, South High cheerleading and West High flag football. 

The school district is not disclosing which schools or buildings the active coronavirus cases are at to protect staff and student privacy, said district spokeswoman Lisa Miller.

She said the district has yet to find evidence of coronavirus spread within schools or within district-led activities, including ongoing sports and tutoring programs.

Earlier this week, Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop said she’s, instead, getting reports of coronavirus spread between students at sleepovers or other gatherings at their homes.

“We also know that adults, that our employees, come to us with COVID unknowingly,” she said at the school board meeting Tuesday. “And we have to adapt and react.”

Meanwhile, at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, where in-person learning resumed in August, there have been roughly three dozen coronavirus cases among students and staff in recent weeks, according to the district’s website. Several school buildings were closed this week, and a few will remain closed on Monday. 

More than 30 schools on the Kenai Peninsula will also be closed next week, with students learning online, because of a rising number of coronavirus cases in the region.

Reach reporter Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@alaskapublic.org or 907-550-8447.