TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As schools around the Tampa Bay area adapt to teaching both online and in-person, many are seeing a slow influx of school-related coronavirus cases among staff and students.
Most local school districts have created a dashboard in hopes of providing some transparency to families. According to the dashboards, the virus is spreading in schools.
Teachers in Hillsborough County began their first full week of in-person learning on Monday. By the end of the day, the Hillsborough County School District reported 152 school-related cases of COVID-19, most of which were staff or administrators.
Friday morning, however, brought a nearly 19% increase in cases within the school district, totaling 180.
Students in Polk County returned to class on Aug. 24 with only one school-related case reported. In an update posted Friday morning, the Polk County School District listed 55 positive cases on its website.
At a press conference in August, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he supported school districts releasing coronavirus data.
“What I’ve said is, put out as much information as we have,” DeSantis said.
Not long after, school districts across the state began publishing data surrounding school cases.
DeSantis has also said schools should take a “surgical approach” to respond to any possible COVID-19 cases and should not shut down.
“It’s gotta be done surgically,” he reiterated this week. “But broad-based quarantines of healthy people who we have no basis to think are contagious – I think – is not the way to go.”