Update: More than 10,000 cases of COVID-19 related to FL schools, with university data included

Florida State University's Jennie Murphree Hall. Credit: FSU, University Housing website.

The Florida Department of Health data shows 10,317 cases of COVID-19 related to Florida public and private schools, colleges, and universities since September 6. The number includes students, teachers, staff, and other cases related to Florida schools.

During the week of October 11 to October 17, there were 2,102 new cases from Florida public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities. That’s an increase from previous data of about 1,500 new cases each week.

The COVID-19 numbers play a part in an ongoing conversation about whether brick-and-mortar schools should be open during the pandemic — a controversy that has resulted in a lawsuit on the matter.

Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health released its weekly report on COVID-19 cases related to Florida schools, but lacked the usual reporting of cases related to universities. The older version of the report showed data on public and private K-12 schools, some colleges, and minimal reporting on four-year universities.

The Phoenix had reached out to the state health department for clarity on why the reporting on universities was different from previous weeks. The agency responded back with a link to the updated data the following day.

Department spokesman Alberto Moscoso also responded in an email to the Florida Phoenix that “the initial report issued this week did not contain all of the intended information.” 

“Department staff quickly noticed and issued an up-to-date and accurate report. This will not impact future department reporting,” Moscoso said in the email.

In the updated report, 1,306 COVID-19 positive cases were related to Florida public schools and private schools (and some colleges), while 796 positive cases were associated with Florida colleges and universities.

Of the 796 cases associated with Florida colleges and universities, there were 718 students that tested positive for COVID-19 in the week of October 11 through 17 — along with 6 teachers, 34 staff members, and 38 other cases.

The post-secondary institutions associated with the most COVID-19 positive cases are the Alachua County campus of the University of Florida, with 190 total cases, and the University of Central Florida in Orlando, with 154 total cases. This includes students, teachers, staff and other cases.