Pasco parents should expect to see a spike in reported COVID cases in schools


PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – As the number of COVID cases in schools continues to rise, Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning says employees trying to keep track of the numbers are overwhelmed.

“We can’t keep up. We cannot keep up,” said Browning. “There are so many cases right now.”

The result is, the numbers that the school district has been putting online are far lower than the actual number of COVID-positive students and staff members. Superintendent Browning addressed the issue at a recent school board meeting.

“Tuesday night, when I shared numbers with the board, we were like 850 cases that we haven’t even touched yet. Those are positive cases,” said Browning. “That’s out of 12-hundred cases that we had in the system.”

Part of the delay in reporting has been the district’s “surgical” contact tracing. School employees have to try and determine, if a student or staff member tests, who he or she interacted with on campus.

“Are they a bus rider? Yes, they are. Who were they around,” Browning asked. “What classes do they have? Who did they come into contact with in class? For how long? And what distance? Did they have lunch at the cafeteria? “

The district is now going to change the way it reports the COVID numbers.

“We’re changing our website so that our web site will actually reflect the number of positive cases we received today,” said Browning. “And our goal will be to get those positive cases, adult or student, out of our system. Get them home.”

Because of the change, parents may see a spike in the reported numbers. That isn’t an indication that there is a rise in COVID positive cases, merely cases that weren’t previously reported will now be reported in a more timely fashion. The numbers should then even out after a few days of adjusted reporting.

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