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Many Orange County students shift to virtual learning due to COVID-19 cases

14 confirmed cases; most traced to community spread, OCPS says

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Timber Creek High School has become the latest Orange County Public School campus to close due to coronavirus cases among students and/or staff, according to the school district.

OCPS officials confirmed Wednesday the whole campus will shift to LaunchED virtual learning for two weeks beginning Thursday. All parents and students have been notified.

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Students and staff members will return to campus on Nov. 5.

“This decision is out of an abundance of caution after being notified of 14 positive COVID-19 cases,” OCPS said in a statement. “The FDOH has traced most of the positive cases back to events in the community that are now impacting the school with more than 200 quarantine letters being issued. During this time, the entire campus will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected as the health and safety of everyone is a top priority.”

As of right now, there will be no athletic events, extracurricular or co-curricular activities with the exception of varsity football.

“All football players, coaches and trainers tested negative during their last round of testing and have since remained in their learning cohort,” OCPS said.

According to the school district COVID-19 dashboard, two students tested positive on Tuesday, one on Monday and a student and a teacher tested positive last week. There have been eight total cases connect to the school since Aug. 21 but those numbers do not reflect Wednesday’s totals as OCPS updates the dashboard every night.

As of Tuesday night, the district has confirmed 461 cases between students, staff and other people associated with campuses across OCPS. There are currently 305 people in quarantine, a majority are students, according to the OCPS COVID-19 dashboard.

The Department of Health will offer free COVID-19 testing at Timber Creek for anyone who wishes to be tested.

Timber Creek will not be serving meals for students during the two-week closure. Breakfast and lunch are still available for students at any other school.

Seventy students and staff in the Autism Spectrum Disorder Unit at Palm Lake Elementary will also pivot to LaunchED on Thursday, according to school officials.

School officials said both campuses will be cleaned and disinfected.