ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Public Schools started the school year with more than 200 COVID-19 cases reported among students and employees, according to its dashboard.
The district is currently keeping tabs on 209 virus cases, 148 were reported among employees and 60 stemmed from students, its dashboard revealed. One case of the virus was reported in a vendor or visitor.
The numbers include confirmed cases found on an Orange County campus since Aug. 2. Over the eight-day period, the dashboard showed a majority of cases were reported Monday, before the first day of school.
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, OCPS said it had 56 cases reported for the day prior, however, the number could change after the data is refreshed at 11:59 p.m.
OCPS’s data says 63 people are also actively quarantining. Of that total, 45 are students and the other 18 are employees. Many of those quarantines were reported last Thursday.
The district recently adopted new protocols to help keep coronavirus out of the classroom.
OCPS has enacted a 30-day face-covering policy for students which started Tuesday. Parents can choose to opt their students out of the policy if they send a signed note with their child.
According to the school district, 8,400 students submitted notes on the first day of school which is about 4% of the OCPS student body.
During a news conference Monday, Dr. Raul Pino with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said if a child tests positive for the virus they must not go to school. They will be allowed to return after not showing symptoms for 24 hours without the help of medicine and after testing negative for the virus. Students can also return 10 days after their diagnosis, according to Pino.
In terms of when to quarantine, Pino said if a student is exposed to the virus but has had COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they don’t need to isolate if they don’t show any symptoms. Similar rules apply to students who are fully vaccinated.
“We want the student to be in class we want parents to return to work, so I think the guidance provides for both,” Pino said Monday.
OCPS serves approximately 210,000 students and a majority of those students returned to the classroom Tuesday with masks.