Back to school: tracking new coronavirus cases in Orange County students

Florida Dept. of Health: "We are going to map it out"

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County said it will be tracking new cases of the coronavirus in school-aged children as the school year begins on Monday.

Dr. Raul Pino said his team was in the process of creating a baseline for pediatric coronavirus case and adding new details to the tracking model, so they can recognize when there is an outbreak and where it might be.

“Age group, gender, what schools are they in, what ZIP Codes do they live in,” Pino told News 6. “We are going to map it out.”

According to FDOH, 1,885 children between the ages of 4 days old and 17 years old have tested positive for the coronavirus in Orange County since March.

Here’s the breakdown:

< 1142
1-4 years old326
5-10 years old449
11-13 years old287
14-17 years old681

“What we hope is that those who can take advantage of the distant learning, that have the bandwith at home, they have the tools, they have parents that can help with the structure of the kids, will do that from home,” Pino said. “(That will) decline the number of people that are physically present in school to be able to sustain social distancing and social norms that will increase the protection of the children.”

“There’s mixed emotions about the reopening of schools here within the state of Florida,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said.

He said four of his five grandchildren will be learning virtually, just like all other students in Orange County Public Schools, when classes begin on Monday.

He said he knows parents will have to make some tough decisions about what to do next.

“I think the true measure of any community is how they treat their children and the most vulnerable in our community,” he told News 6. “This really is all about what does Orange County stand for?”

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