Almost 6,000 students and employees of one of the nation’s largest school districts are isolating due to a positive COVID-19 test or quarantining because of potential exposure to the virus.
Florida’s Hillsborough County Public Schools, the eighth largest school district in the country, said 5,599 students and 316 employees of the more than 200,000 students who attend its schools are isolating or quarantining as of Monday, according to the district’s statement.
This COVID-19 Community Update was sent to all parents and staff to communicate important information about safety guidelines and our district’s ongoing mitigation efforts. We must continue safety practices community wide as we work to combat this virus. https://t.co/qxEfj0TfhI
— Addison Davis (@AddisonGDavis) August 14, 2021
“Isolation refers to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 while quarantine refers to those who have had close contact with a positive case,” the statement said.
The district’s school board called an emergency meeting for 1 p.m. on Wednesday to consider a potential mask mandate for all students and employees. The meeting will allow one hour of public comment.
Superintendent Addison Davis tweeted Saturday that the district plans to continue to use safety practices to combat the virus.
“We’re going to make sure we still follow every statutory requirement, all the legal ramifications,” Davis said during an MSNBC appearance on Friday. “But at the same time show that sensitivity with Covid in our community and put mitigation strategies in order to be successful,” he said, according to NBC. (RELATED: Teacher Dies Just 3 Days After Contracting COVID)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has banned mask mandates for schoolchildren and has pushed back against school districts that have promoted policies that mandate masks in schools. Florida broke its daily record of confirmed COVID-19 cases in August.
Two teachers and a teacher’s assistant in Florida’s Broward County died from COVID-19 while on summer break last week, raising alarms for school districts as they prepare to go back to school.
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