OSCEOLA, Fla. – In the first two weeks of the fall semester at Osceola County Public Schools, more than 450 people who came into contact with a person positive with COVID-19 were asked to quarantine by the Florida Department of Health, according to the latest report from the school district.
Since the school week ending in Aug. 24, more than 36 schools have had students and/or staff asked to quarantine. A total of 26 students and 14 staff have tested positive for the respiratory illness as of the week ending in Aug. 31, according to the district.
A majority of the people in quarantine are connected to a small number of schools, most of the schools with a high number in quarantine are high schools.
For the school week ending Aug. 31, Tohopekaliga High School had 99 students and one staff member in quarantine, Gateway High School had 45 students, Harmony High School had 56 students and one staff member, Kissimmee Middle School had 44 students and Thacker Elementary School had 32 students and five staff.
The data from the school district also shows more student cases have been tied to campuses than staff. A review of the most recent report from the district shows 26 students have tested positive for COVID-19 whereas the district has 14 staff cases, that does not include the 12 teachers who tested positive at Harmony Middle School for the week ending in Aug. 24.
Schools with positive cases in students and/or teachers have not reported more than a few at a time.
For the week ending in Aug. 31, Harmony Middle School has four students and four staff who have tested positive, the most out of any school in the district. However, the campus has been closed since Aug. 28 when 12 staff tested positive for the virus. The campus is set to reopen on Sept. 14.
Osceola County superintendent Debra Pace said students have and staff members have to be alert outside of school during the pandemic.
“What you do outside of school and what you do outside of work matters significantly in how the spread of the pandemic is going to impact our schools and our school setting,” Superintendent Debra Pace said.