Eight Florida counties had 100 or more COVID-19 infections related to public and private K-12 schools last week, new data show, with two counties — Miami-Dade and Broward — reporting more than 250 cases.
The figures include students, teachers, staff, and other cases, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The eight counties are: Pinellas (100), Pasco (101), Orange (110), Hillsborough (149), Palm Beach (164), Broward (257), and Miami-Dade (286).
These counties encompass some of Florida’s largest K-12 school districts, based on enrollments. Miami-Dade and Broward opened their brick-and-mortar schools in mid-October, several weeks after other school districts opened their doors.
Overall, there were 2,828 new COVID-19 positive cases related to Florida public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities from Nov. 1 through Nov. 7, according to state department of health data.
Since Sept. 6, when state officials started counting school-related COVID caes, 18,520 total cases have been reported.
The first report offered data from a three-week period between Sept. 6 and 26. That added up 4,689 COVID positive cases related to Florida schools, including colleges and universities.
Two months later, the figure is nearing the 20,000 mark for COVID-19, and will likely achieve that milestone in next week’s report, should current trends continue.
From the first week of November, 625 cases out of the total 2,828 were associated with Florida colleges and universities.
The remaining 2,203 cases from Nov. 1 through Nov. 7 were related to Florida public and private K-12 schools.
From public and private K-12 schools, 1,598 students tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of Nov. 1 through Nov. 7 — along with 178 teachers, 140 staff, and 287 other cases.
With nearly 3,000 new cases from Nov. 1 through Nov. 7 associated with public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, schools are having to assess how they will continue the school year given the current COVID situation. As it stands now, some families remain on online learning, while others have chosen in-person instruction.
The Phoenix previously reported that some K-12 schools are wary of relaxing COVID-19 protocols, while others are considering loosening them.
Florida colleges and universities are also considering what changes to make in the upcoming spring semester to ensure that students are safe while also receiving a quality education.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit continues against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and other officials on the emergency order that mandated schools to reopen at brick-and-mortar schools during the pandemic.
Overall, there are about 2.8-million public school students in Florida.