Database: Tracking coronavirus in Central Florida schools

More than 1,940 cases tied to Central Florida schools as of Oct. 24

A Florida classroom

ORLANDO, Fla. – By the end of August, more than 1.1 million K-12 students were back in school for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic first arrived in the Sunshine State.

In October, Miami-Dade and Broward counties became the last two school districts in the state to welcomed some students back for in-person learning.

The Florida Department of Health previously said it will release data regarding school-related cases and did momentarily in August only to pull it down off the DOH website. On Sept. 6, the DOH began releasing a weekly coronavirus report showing all school cases for the week. The report does not show how many people are in quarantine due to school-related cases but Central Florida school districts have been releasing those numbers independently.

The most recent report from the Department of Health for the week ending on Oct. 24 shows there are more than 1,900 cases from students and/or staff across Central Florida school districts.

While about 40% of Florida’s student body population returned for face-to-face learning, a majority of Florida’s students are learning through virtual or hybrid options. Tens of thousands of K-12 students have also been unaccounted for but those numbers are slowly starting to improve, school district officials said. School districts are required to have plans in place should an outbreak happen on campus as part of their reopening plans submitted to the Florida Department of Health for approval.

To keep track of the public school-related COVID-19 cases and the number of people in quarantine around the Central Florida region, News 6 and created an easy-to-use, searchable database. The information is updated weekly with data from the Florida Department of Health schools COVID-19 report.

Mobile devices users: Click in the interactive and drag the table to the right or left to see all of the fields.

By the first week of September, three schools in Central Florida were forced to shut down because of COVID-19 cases. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said the school in Osceola County that closed was due to a lack of substitute teachers able to replace those who tested positive.

In Central Florida, some school districts have been reporting how many are told to quarantine per school while other districts are reporting only general numbers district-wide. For example, Lake County provided the names of the schools, related cases and people in quarantine for each impacted school whereas many of the local school districts supplied a lump sum of all cases and people in quarantine.

School districts including Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Osceola, Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties said they would begin releasing the names of all schools with COVID-19 cases at least once a week, as required by the Florida Department of Health.

Brevard Public Schools began publishing a dashboard of cases connected to school campuses on Sept. 11. The dashboard updates every Tuesday and Friday.

Flagler County Public Schools will release a list of campuses with positive cases on Fridays.

Lake County began reporting a breakdown of cases and quarantines at the end of August.

The Marion County School District releases a report of cases connected to schools every week on the district website.

Orange County Public Schools, the region’s largest school district, launched a dashboard on Sept. 14.

Osceola County Public Schools began releasing a spreadsheet of cases and those in quarantine the first week of September.

Seminole County published a COVID-19 dashboard in September that is updated weekly.

In Volusia County, the school district provides updates on Wednesday and Friday of each week.

About this project

This database is updated and maintained by News 6 and staff with the information provided by the school districts through public records requests and the Florida Department of Health reports.