More than 8,000 COVID-19 cases related to FL schools since early September

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With COVID-19 cases still surging, students may -- or may not --be filling up classrooms as the new academic year begins. Credit: Pixabay.

The state reported 1,557 new COVID-19 cases related to Florida schools last week, totaling 8,080 cases in a little over a month’s time as students, instructors and staff began the 2020-21 academic year.

The data came from the Florida Department of Health, which began releasing weekly updates beginning Sept. 6 on the progress of COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools and colleges and universities.

In the most recent data from Oct. 4 through 10, 1,030 new cases came from public and private K-12 schools alone. Another 527 cases came from colleges and universities.

Of the K-12 schools, 763 public and private school students were reported positive for COVID-19 from Oct. 4 through 10 — along with 79 teachers, 71 staff, and 117 other people connected to K-12 schools.

The updated data show a slight increase in K-12 public and private student cases from the previous week. Those were 646 students between September 27 and October 3. Staff cases from K-12 schools also showed a slight increase from the week before — 64 cases from September 27 to October 3.

Teacher cases dropped to 79 from Oct. 4 to 10, compared to 81 cases the week before.

The weekly reports do not confirm whether schools should or should not be open during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is an ongoing controversy.

The last two weeks of data show a steady increase of about 1,500 new COVID-19 cases related to schools.

On the other hand, two of Florida’s largest school districts just started their brick-and-mortar instruction for families. Earlier, children were in online learning.

The Miami-Dade County school district began its reopening process on October 5. The update reports 32 cases including students, teachers and staff in the week of October 4 to 10, from public and private schools in the county.

Broward County’s school district will finish its reopening process for students that opted for in-person instruction Thursday, meaning that all school districts will have officially reopened brick-and-mortar schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic by the end of the week.

About 2.8-million students are enrolled in Florida’s public schools.

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.