Pasco County Schools have quarantined 212 students and 33 employees
School reopening has not become the major virus spreading event some feared. Image via AP.

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School has been in session less than two weeks.

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.

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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.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


5 comments

  • Joseph Kazerski

    September 3, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    So what?! This story doesn’t even state what each county considers as specifications for “quarantining” is, is the any of the children and/or teachers showed signs/symptoms or were asymptomatic? How did they know they were positive? Not to mention it has been proven that both CV19 tests are notoriously inaccurate.
    Despite all of that….I thought that masks, hand washing and showering in hand sanitizer was the end-all preventative treatment for CV19?! So…everyone wearing masks either works 90-100% or, it doesn’t work at all? Which one is it?
    In my opinion, this article is missing pertinent information that smart readers should and need, to know. Especially if we have children in school.

    • Suzanne

      September 7, 2020 at 11:41 am

      THANK YOU! You too the words right out of my mouth! 🤗

  • Sharon

    September 3, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    Well said, Joseph. So what?!? Exactly how are these cases determined? Besides, if we quarantine everyone who came into contact with the 22 ‘cases’ shouldn’t that be all students and school personnel in the school building, on the bus, crosswalk, cafeteria, or walking where they might have handled the same handrails or doorknobs, even in the library and things such as books, pens, or papers? Not to mention all parents, relatives, and friends of the ‘cases’? Since there isn’t any solid evidence of serious flu symptoms in young people, is any quarantining necessary at all, except to keep public panic at a feverishly high level?

  • April detwiler

    September 3, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    My neice lives with me and she is now in quarantine because she was exposed to a student who tested positive at mary giella elementary. There are 2 other kids in my home who attend the same school and they are allowed to return. Even though she is under quarantine. Office says it’s because there are loop holes in the system. It doesn’t make sense to allow them to return when they live in the same household. Since she hasn’t been tested just have her staying home. If she happens to get tested and it comes back positive then all 3 will be quarantine.

  • Kary

    September 7, 2020 at 12:39 am

    This whole this is and always has been BS. And frankly most people are fed up. The whole thing is falling apart and they know it!

Comments are closed.


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