ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Public School District reported 40 confirmed cases of the virus Monday, the largest daily count the district has had since schools reopened this fall amid the pandemic, according to the Orange County Public School’s COVID-19 Dashboard.
Orlando Pediatrician Dr. Candice Jones said this is expected.
“That [number] is mirroring what is going on nationally with very high daily [COVID-19] numbers that we’re seeing across the nation. And we know Florida’s been up there, so we’re going to see this trickle into schools and this is going to happen, so I’m not surprised,” Jones said.
The COVID-19 cases in the district are spread across dozens of schools: 21 students, 16 employees and 3 vendors or visitors tested positive Monday. The number of people who will be in quarantine as a result of those cases have not yet been reported by the district.
Jones said it’s too early to tell if those positive cases are a result of potential gatherings from Halloween. She said it could take anywhere from five to seven days for someone to show symptoms if they’re not asymptomatic.
Jones said there needs to be more accountability in schools when it comes to following health and safety guidelines.
“I looked over the OCPS school district’s plan for COVID and I think it’s pretty solid. The question is, at different schools, how they are implementing it,” said Jones.
Jones said parents need to ask questions and hold schools accountable to make sure health and safety protocols are being followed.
“We should not be relaxing our safety measures just because we’re tired. The risk is still real to our children, to ourselves and to our family members to get this virus,” Jones said.
As the holiday season approaches, the school district sent this statement about COVID-19:
“As approach the holiday season we want to remind our students, families and staff to continue following the health and safety recommendations set by the CDC and our local health department. We wish for our families to creatively celebrate while helping our students avoid large gatherings where social distancing and face masks are not in use. Thank you for helping us keep our F2F programs functioning and healthy.”
The Orange County School District said it continues to adjust and update their COVID-19 Health and Safety procedures. Click or tap here to stay up-to-date on any changes to the policies.