COVID-19 infections at schools have been climbing; nearly 15,500 cases in all since Sept. 6

Teacher with students, in a classroom. Credit: Getty Images.

The Florida Department of Health reported more than 2,600 new COVID-19 infections related to Florida public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities during the week of Oct. 25 through Oct. 31 — part of a steep rise in cases spanning just two months.

Leading up to election week, the department reported 15,498 COVID-19 cases in all related to Florida schools since Sept. 6 — continuing an ongoing discussion on whether schools should be open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Out of 2,647 new COVID cases from Oct. 25 through Oct. 31, private and public K-12 schools had 1,961 COVID-19 positive cases among students, teachers, staff, and others. Florida’s colleges and universities contributed 686 cases to last week’s total number.

This is the third week the department has reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 positive cases related to Florida public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.

The department’s weekly updates since September have shown a gradual increase of COVID-19 in Florida schools. The department launched the data with a three-week period between Sept. 6 and 26. that added up 4,689.

Following that, the numbers increased weekly from about 1,500 to 2,600.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit from a statewide teacher union is still ongoing, although moving slowly. The Florida Education Association filed a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner, and other officials, on an emergency order in July that would reopen brick-and-mortar schools in August.

In Florida public and private K-12 schools, 1,428 students were reported to have been COVID positive during the week of Oct. 25 through Oct. 31 — along with 173 teachers, 105 staff, and 255 other cases.

In the same week, Florida’s post-secondary education institutions had 624 student COVID-19 infections, 5 teachers, 26 staff, and 31 other cases.

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.