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Coronavirus infections among staff and students at partially reopened L.A. County schools spiked in the past week, but incomplete data make it difficult to gauge whether educators and parents should be worried or assured during the unprecedented surge in community transmission.

Last week, 164 schools in the county had reported coronavirus infections since the start of the school year. This week, that total jumped to 263. Last week a total of 169 staff and 63 students had been infected; one week later the cumulative numbers were 275 staff and 103 students, a 63% increase.

The latest numbers on infections of staff and students on campuses were provided Thursday to schools leaders and school nurses in two calls with public health officials. The Times obtained the information from interviews with those on the calls and from an audio recording.

Last week, 13 schools were linked to outbreaks since the school year began. Three more outbreaks were reported this week. Health officials define an outbreak as three or more cases within a 14-day period that appear to have a connection.

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