Multiple McNary students and staff members test positive for COVID-19

Five students and five staff members at McNary High School tested positive for COVID during the week ending on Oct. 30, bringing their total positive cases since school started to 38. 

Positive COVID cases in the Salem-Keizer School District have remained relatively low since school began, with 412 positive cases amongst students and 82 amongst teachers. That represents 1% of the student population and 1.5% of the teacher population. 

Five McNary staff members testing positive during the last week of October was an outlier however, as it not only led the district but it also more than doubled McNary’s total cases amongst staff members this year. A total of nine staff members have tested positive at McNary this year. 

According to district spokesman Aaron Harada, 91.2% of staff across the district are fully vaccinated and the remaining have approved exceptions. Ninety percent of the staff members at McNary have been vaccinated. 

Since the district doesn’t identify the positions of staff members that have tested positive, it is unknown if any of those five staff members are teachers. Harada did say, however, that the district contacts any staff and the families of students who are identified as close contacts to a positive case.

The district has had five instances this school year of classes being moved online due to an outbreak within the class. As of Nov. 9, none of McNary’s classes had been moved online.

Eleven students were identified as being close contacts during the week ending in Oct. 30., with five students testing positive. According to McNary head football coach Jeff Auvinen, one Celtics player tested positive the same week and 10 Celtic players were identified as close contacts.

Harada said the district will continue to send out notifications about COVID being reported in a school, with district or school nurses reaching out to individuals to let them know if they’ve been identified as close contacts. 

Each week, the Salem-Keizer COVID dashboard lists total cases, and close contacts, amongst students and teachers at each school as well.