ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – It’s unclear just how many cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in students and staff at Orange County Public Schools based on the information the school district released Friday evening but 50 schools or worksites have had at least one COVID-19 case in the past two weeks.
By the end of the school week on Friday, Orange County has issued 373 quarantine letters to specific students and/or staff at 27 schools across the district, according to a statement from the district.
Earlier in the week, OCPS officials said they planned to release more information about virus cases tied to schools and worksites. The update was posted to the OCPS Facebook page Friday evening with a list of schools that have had confirmed cases in students and/or staff but did not disclose how many cases on each campus.
Based on the names of schools with cases released by OCPS last week and on Tuesday, some campuses have multiple COVID-19 cases. There are now 50 schools and worksites, including food and transportation services, with cases. The school district has more than 200 schools, according to its website.
By law, the Florida Department of Health cannot report data related to schools, according to Dr. Raul Pino, with DOH- Orange County, however, schools districts can report information provided to them by the DOH.
“Please know we are working closely with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Orange County to address cases as quickly as they arise. Once a principal receives documentation of a positive case, he or she reaches out directly to those staff and parents of students who were possibly exposed in the school building and then sends a general notification to the entire school,” a statement from OCPS read.
As of Friday, district officials said they had not learned of any cases of the virus being contracted on campus.
According to OCPS Media Relations manager Michael Ollendorff, “the Department of Health has not notified the district of any school-based transmissions but of course they are closely monitoring.”
Orange County Public School COVID-19 data will be released every Tuesday and Friday.
Surrounding school districts in the Central Florida region are also reporting cases on pre-determined days but the extent of the information varies by county.
Below is a database with information on COVID-19 cases and people in quarantine from nine Central Florida school districts. Osceola and Lake counties are the only two reporting the breakdown of cases per school by teacher and staff, along with how many have been asked to quarantine.