Nearly 1,500 new COVID-19 cases related to schools last week; Miami-Dade kids returning to classrooms

Miami-Dade County school district continues to welcome more students back into brick-and-mortar schools. Source: John A. Ferguson Senior High School Twitter

The state reported nearly 1,500 more COVID-19 cases in a week’s time related to Florida’s public and private schools. That additional data creates a total of more than 6,000 school-related infections since early September.

In an update of data from the Florida Department of Health, Floridians now have a better picture of how COVID-19 is moving through schools and districts.

The department has said it will report the school COVID data every Tuesday.

The first round of data showed 4,689 total COVID-19 positive cases related to schools in Florida from September 6 through September 26.

The Tuesday update shows 1,457 additional cases collected from September 27 to October 3. The data shows that 920 of those cases are related to K-12 schools in Florida.

In the new data for K-12 schools, 646 students were reported COVID-19 positive for last week — along with 81 teachers, 64 staff, and 129 other cases reported from September 27 to October 3.

In total, the Department of Health has reported 6,381 cases related to Florida schools, colleges, and universities from September 6 through October 3. However, the data shows 6,146 cases when totaling the old numbers and the new.

The updated data continues to prompt the question of whether schools are safe to return to during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, two of Florida’s largest school districts are starting brick-and-mortar instruction by the end of this week.

The Miami-Dade school district allowed students in grades PreK through 6 and grades 9 and 10 to return to the classroom as of Wednesday. All remaining grades will return by Friday for Miami-Dade.

Superintendent of Miami-Dade schools Alberto Carvalho has been visiting various schools throughout the district, posting photos on social media of staff and students to demonstrate the safety measures put in place for the new school year.

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho visits schools throughout out the first week of their reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: Twitter for Alberto Carvalho

“Lunchtime @sr_reef featuring health and safety protocols, so that students can enjoy a nutritious meal in the cafeteria,” Carvalho tweeted Wednesday.

Broward County will begin opening brick-and-mortar instruction by Friday. They will begin a staggered reopening process by allowing PreK through 2nd graders back into schools at the end of this week. Overall, Broward students who opted for in-person instruction will be in classrooms by October 15.

Both school districts began the school year with every student learning virtually, and were urged to speed up their reopening plans by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University, majoring in English with a focus in editing, writing, and media. While at FSU, she served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine, Nomadic Noles. Last fall, she fulfilled another editorial internship with Rowland Publishing, where she wrote for the Tallahassee Magazine, Emerald Coast Magazine, and 850 Business Magazine. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat. She spends her downtime traveling to all corners of Florida and beyond to practice lindy hop.