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Hillsborough County Schools report highest week of COVID-19 cases

The county has doubled its weekly cases since the week of Sept. 27.

The Hillsborough County School District reported a record-setting week of COVID-19 cases, including its highest single day report last Monday.

Last week, spanning Sunday, Oct. 11, through Saturday, the district reported 128 new cases — 79 students and 49 staff members. Last Monday alone, the district saw 26 student cases and 15 employee cases, its highest daily case number to date.

High schools have seen the brunt of cases, with Plant High School recording five of those cases last Monday, and by the end of the week, grew its case load to eight. Plant has recorded 22 student cases since the start of school.

This follows an outbreak in mid-September at Newsome High School, which continues to report the most student cases in a single school across the county — since its first recorded case on Sept. 13, the school has recorded 26 cases.

In the week prior to last, spanning Oct. 4-10, the county saw 120 cases.

In the week of Sept. 27, Hillsborough County Schools reported 63 cases — meaning the county has nearly doubled in the growth of cases.

Since the start of the school year on Aug. 30, the district has seen 580 cases, including 205 employees and 375 students.

Individuals in contact with an individual on campus who tested positive must be quarantined, required to stay home for 14 days.

Students and employees listed in the dashboard since reopening have each been on campus, except for four students listed on the Aug. 31 report who had not on campus because it was the first day of school. The Hillsborough County COVID-19 dashboard updates every 4 hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Hillsborough County School District has not released the number of individuals required to quarantine since the start of the school year, which compared to neighboring school districts, could be a significant number of students who opted to go back to in-person school.

For reference, Pasco County, which has reported 170 student cases and 68 staff cases since the start of the school year on Aug. 24, has so far had to quarantine 3,225 students and 338 employees. In a report from Sept. 4, Zephyrhills High School quarantined 119 students in one day, all in regard to just one student case.

Pasco County schools recorded 23 student cases and five staff cases since last Monday, four of which were from MyPCS Online students. The cases resulted in the quarantine of 284 students and 27 staff members.

Written By

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 kelly@floridapolitics.com.

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