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31% of coronavirus tests in Florida children are positive, data shows

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — More than 30% of coronavirus tests in Florida children have a positive result, data from the Florida Department of Health shows.

A report detailing pediatric cases of coronavirus in Florida shows more than 17,000 people under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with COVID-19. That includes 213 pediatric hospitalizations and four children who have died.

Source: Florida Department of Health

Locally, Hillsborough County had the highest number of pediatric cases. The county alone accounts for 1,405 of the 3,642 total cases across all ten Tampa Bay area counties.

Hardee County had the highest pediatric positivity rate across the ten counties. Of the 230 children who have been tested in the county, nearly 110 have been positive, bringing Hardee’s positivity rate to 47.4%.

While the 17,073 pediatric cases reported in the state only make up a little more than 5% of Florida’s total 315,775 cases, the information brings more questions as the Florida Department of Education and local school boards scramble to create plans for the school year that will protect staff and students.

Hillsborough County School Board Chair Melissa Snively brought up the rate of infection in children on Thursday during a workshop.

“I don’t know where you got one out of three children but I’d love to see that data source because I haven’t seen anything of that magnitude. Because that would be 30% of children being diagnosed with coronavirus and we are nowhere near that as far as I know, at least in Hillsborough County,” Snively said. “I don’t know – I’d have to look up the state statistics by age.”

So far, multiple local school boards have decided to push the start of the 2020-2021 school year back by two weeks. Hillsborough County’s school board will vote on the proposed delay next week.

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