Nearly a month into school year, Florida reports growing number of coronavirus cases in children

Department of Health reports 145 fatalities on Sept. 15

Sharawn Vinson, front left, and family members and friends cheer for her daughter, Maddison Washington, 11, as they watch her virtual graduation from middle school in the living room of their three-bedroom apartment in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. After months of pandemic isolation and living with the fear of hunger as bills piled up, Vinson and her kids continued volunteering to help feed their own community. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski) (Jessie Wardarski, Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Data released by school districts around Central Florida shows that a majority of the COVID-19 cases connected to school campuses are in students versus teachers and other staff, and around the state coronavirus cases in people under 18 years old have increased since the fall semester started.

Across the U.S., virus cases in children still make up a relatively small percentage of the overall total with a little more than 8% of 6.5 million cases in people 17 and under since March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Florida, 54,406 children have tested positive for the virus since March, more than 11,600 of those are new cases in the past month. There have been eight child fatalities in Florida from the virus.

The most at risk for serious cases of COVID-19 are older adults and those with pre-existing health conditions, according to the CDC.

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After two days with lower death numbers, the Florida Department of Health confirmed Tuesday 146 people died recently from the respiratory illness. The new fatalities from the virus bring Florida’s COVID-19 death toll to 12,946 since March, that includes 159 non-residents who died while in the Sunshine State.

On Tuesday, the DOH reported 3,116 people have tested positive for coronavirus for the first time out of more than 65,000 tested. With the new cases, Florida has now reported 668,846 cases of the virus in the past six months. According to the CDC, Florida is third in the nation for the number of people tested, only after New York and California.

Orange County Classroom Teachers Association President Wendy Doromal claims the school district's new COVID-19 database is inadequate.

As of Tuesday morning, there are 2,578 people currently hospitalized with the virus around the state, according to the state Agency for Healthcare Administration. The AHCA, which oversees all health care facilities, has a running database of current COVID-19 hospitalizations whereas the DOH only reports total hospitalizations. There were 280 new people who required hospital care due to the virus on Tuesday, according to the DOH, bringing the total of hospitalized virus patients to 41,654 since March 1.

The state positivity rate -- the number of people who tested positive for the first time compared to overall tests -- was 4.22%, still well below the advised 10%.

If you are having trouble viewing the dashboard on mobile, click here.

Here are four things to know about the coronavirus for Sept. 15:

  • Central Florida’s largest school district launches dashboard: Orange County Public Schools launched a COVID-19 dashboard on Monday showing the number of student and staff cases at schools across the district. OCPS says it will be updated every night. Without the Florida Department of Health releasing coronavirus data from campuses, school districts have become the only place families can find out about cases at their children’s schools.
  • Bar owners hopeful: After six months in survival mode, bar owners are ready to try again and this time, business owners in Orlando say they hope that customers will be on their best bar behavior as they reopen their doors. Last week, the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced bars can reopen Monday with 50% capacity inside, and as long as customers are seated and socially distanced.
  • Remember when you couldn’t find toilet paper? It’s back on store shelves but you may not recognize some of the brands. Demand for toilet paper has been so high during the pandemic that in order to keep their shelves stocked, retailers are buying up foreign toilet paper brands, mostly from Mexico. Major chains, across the country, including CVS, Piggly Wiggly, Safeway, 7-Eleven and others, are carrying the international brands.
  • What are the different types of coronavirus tests? There are three broad categories of coronavirus tests in the U.S. Two diagnose whether you have an active infection, and a third indicates if you previously had the virus. Here’s how they work.

Below is a breakdown of coronavirus cases in the Central Florida region:

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths

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