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.