The Pasco County School District is seeing an uptick of coronavirus cases as the second week of the school year comes to a close.
The district saw its largest number of COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, showing a steady increase of cases since the start of the school year. On Wednesday, Pasco reported six new cases — five students and one staff member. This resulted in 73 students and 11 staff having to be quarantined.
The cases were spread out among five schools Wednesday, with Wiregrass Ranch High School reporting two cases, one student and one staff member. On Tuesday, the district reported three student cases and two employee cases, and on Monday just one case.
The district, which is made up of roughly 75,000 students and 9,795 employees, has reported 12 student cases and four staff cases since the start of the school year on Aug. 24. Although early numbers of positive cases are low, the district has so far had to quarantine 212 students and 33 staff members who were in contact with the positive individuals.
The highest number of impacted students in one setting was at Bexley Elementary School where 54 students and two staff had to be quarantined after one student case on Monday.
In Pinellas County, schools are reporting the number of quarantines by the number of classrooms affected. Pinellas, which opened schools the same week as Pasco, has reported 11 students and 11 school employees who tested positive. The county also reported that 40 classrooms were quarantined. If classes average 10 students each, a lower than normal estimate that takes into account some students already utilizing e-learning, about 400 students may have been quarantined.
Eight district facility employees have also tested positive at the Walter Pownall Service Center, which doesn’t include a student population.
Hillsborough County has yet to release the number of affected individuals or classrooms. The school district did launch a COVID-19 dashboard Monday, which monitors the spread of coronavirus within the school system. The district has reported 177 cases since July 31, and is seeing a rise of coronavirus cases among students since the start of the in-person school year.
On Wednesday, Hillsborough County saw its highest number of cases since opening schools — six students and five employees.