ROCKLIN (CBS13) — The Rocklin Unified School District just reported its biggest spike in COVID-19 cases, not long after in-person classes started back up.

This comes as Placer County health officials said cases and hospitalizations have increased in the last month.

The Rocklin Unified School District reports coronavirus cases weekly. Usually, that number is only one or two a week, but last week it jumped to 12. The district says 108 people were exposed, but have not yet tested positive. However, the district is not saying what caused the cases or what schools they were detected at.

Rocklin Teachers Association President Travis Mougeotte said this recent spike is an early sign of a problem that could only get worse this winter.

“I honestly thought our numbers would have gotten here a lot faster,” Mougeotte said.

The Rocklin Teachers Association sued the district over safety concerns before the district reported 12 new cases last week. Their concern lies with the lack of rapid testing available.

Mougeotte said sometimes results take more than a week and students can’t stay out of school that long and may show up sick.

“Many are choosing not to test and that limits our ability to contact trace different explosives and further exposures on campuses,” he said.

Mougeotte feels confident safety protocols are up to par in the classroom and the risk lies outside of school.

“There’s that growing concern that people are just getting more comfortable and more laced in their own practices outside of school and whatever that exposure is comes onto campus and into the classroom,” Mougeotte said.

Placer County health officials said the number of positive cases has been increasing, specifically in Roseville, Lincoln and Rocklin.

“It really doesn’t worry me,” said Janice Viertel, who has four kids in Rocklin schools.

Viertel said she’s more concerned about the severity of the cases.

“If they were in the hospital and there was actually something more serious but just the fact that there’s more cases doesn’t bother me,” she said.

The teachers association says most of the cases in the district involve middle and high schoolers, but they’ve started seeing more cases at the elementary school level. They did point out it is harder for younger children to social distance.

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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