Many of the school districts in the Tampa Bay area are publishing information about positive tests for coronavirus among students, teachers or staff at schools or in district buildings. Some also give information about whether some or all students in classrooms or buses have been quarantined – that is, told to stay home until their potential exposure to coronavirus is no longer a danger to others.
Here are links to the COVID-19 dashboard for each Tampa Bay area county’s school district:
Hillsborough County Public Schools
Pinellas County Schools
Pasco County Schools
Hernando School District
Citrus County School District
School District of Manatee County
Sarasota County Schools
Polk County Public Schools
In addition, the COVID Monitor is a project begun by Rebekah Jones, who was the data scientist fired by the state of Florida after creating the state’s coronavirus dashboard. Here is The COVID Monitor‘s page on cases in schools. There’s also a way to send them data about cases at your school. WMNF is partnering with The COVID Monitor to contribute information to its dashboard.
Through September 7, Sarasota County Schools had reported 6 positive cases of coronavirus.
All of them are students; the county has not reported that any employees have tested positive. Two are at Riverview High School. There are one each at Laurel Nokomis School and at Brentwood, Phillippi Shores and Tuttle Elementary Schools. The Sarasota County Schools COVID-19 dashboard says “The Health Department has been in contact with all those who have tested positive and/or have been quarantined due to contact tracing procedures.”
On Wednesday, Pinellas County Schools reported five more positive cases in schools as of Tuesday.
Pinellas County Schools announced that because of one student who tested positive at East Lake High School, some students in 7 classrooms are required to quarantine. One coronavirus-positive student each at Blanton and Curtis Fundamental Elementary Schools have led to quarantines in one classroom at each school. One employee at Ozona Elementary School tested positive, resulting in a quarantine of at least some students in one classroom. One coronavirus positive employee at Tarpon Springs Elementary School did not require any additional quarantines.
On Tuesday, Pinellas County Schools reported five more positive coronavirus cases in schools as of Friday.
The school district says that it is adjusting its process for determining which students need to quarantine based on new criteria from the state Department of Health.
According to Pinellas Schools, “The Department of Health has begun a more surgical selection process for determining which students need to quarantine, based on information provided by the district (e.g. seating charts, mitigating measures). The new process was used for a case at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School today and will be implemented across the district, to the greatest extent possible, moving forward.” It means that “in some cases not everyone in the classroom or on the bus has to quarantine.”
Some students at two classrooms at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School have to quarantine as do students at one classroom each at Maximo and Tarpon Springs Elementary Schools.
Meanwhile, the AP reported that a “central Florida high school is shutting its doors for two weeks after it had six confirmed cases and one suspected case of COVID-19. Orange County Public Schools officials said over the weekend that Olympia High School’s campus will be closed to students until September 21 and all students will take online classes. School officials said on Twitter that there will be no athletic events nor extracurricular activities during that time.”
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