VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – On Wednesday, the Volusia County School District changed its policy and released some data about the number of positive COVID-19 cases in schools.
“It’s absolutely imperative that we be as transparent as possible,” said Carl Persis, School Board Chairman. “It was our legal staff that just felt like we were teetering on some privacy issues.”
But, School Board Chairman Carl Persis said the change of heart stemmed from a combination of public outcry and learning what other school districts were doing. While, he said it won’t be a completely open book for right now, creating a COVID-19 Data Dashboard is a step forward in the right direction.
“They would say what the total number of cases are and how many of those are students, how many are staff, and from which schools.”
Currently, the dashboard shows two students and six employees have tested positive for the virus. The school district said the Florida Department of Education has requested COVID-19 reporting at the district level. The school district said it will be releasing the data twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays after 2 p.m. Data will be provided beginning with the first day of school, Aug. 31st, according to the district.
This announcement came a day after the school district addressed a picture of a crowded hallway at Spruce Creek High School. The school district told News 6 that it’s doubling down to ensure no large group gatherings and will continue practicing health and safety guidelines.
“I think they are recognizing that this is a situation that is greater than them,” said Elizabeth Albert, President of Volusia United Educators.
Albert said they’re pleased with the policy change but it should never have been this hard to provide such valuable information. Albert said knowing the numbers, locations and potential hotspots of positive cases can only help keep everyone safe.
“They have an obligation to not only the employees but to parents, grandparents, and the community to do the right thing and to do a complete and thorough job to protect everyone that’s connected to Volusia County schools,” she said.