BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – As documented COVID-19 cases in Brevard Public Schools near the heights of fall’s surge, the district is working with local health organizations to secure more testing kits for students and staff, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.
Cases from Friday to Monday numbered 658, the second highest the district has seen in its twice-weekly reports. Cases peaked at 784 in the district’s Aug. 27 report.
Quarantines have remained much lower than the fall, however. The Aug. 27 report listed 4,021 quarantines, while Monday’s report lists 529.
[TRENDING: $25M fraud scheme involving Orlando sisters featured in IRS’ most-shocking cases of 2021 | Norwegian ship based at Port Canaveral among numerous cancellations | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]
Since a September Florida Department of Health emergency order, parents are no longer required to quarantine children who are exposed to COVID-19 if they remain asymptomatic.
Missing students and staff during the fall hampered school operations this fall as many students remained home from class and teachers skipped planning periods to cover absent teachers’ classrooms. The impacts of the pandemic pushed the district to close Madison Middle School for two days in August.
The rise in BPS follows a sharp rise in cases throughout the county. On Friday, the Florida Department of Health said new cases over the last week in the county averaged over 1,000 per day with a test positivity rate over 30%.
According to the CDC, a community of high transmission is one where there are more than 100 weekly cases per 100,000 and a new case positivity rate of over 10%. Brevard last week saw 1,339 per 100,000 residents.
BPS announced Monday that Brevard Health Alliance will provide 14,850 test kits for BPS staff and students. The district has roughly 75,000 students and about 9,000 employees. Testing kits have proven difficult to procure for many families in recent days due to the omicron surge.
Brevard Health Alliance received the tests from a federal government testing supply program. BHA delivered the kits to BPS Friday, and the district began distributing them to schools and work sites this week.
“We are proud of the great relationship between Brevard Health Alliance and BPS,” Superintendent Mark Mullins said in a BPS news release. “It is that relationship that made it possible to get these tests into our schools. We appreciate all their support.”
The testing kits will not be made available to the general public, according to the news release, because the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County is prioritizing high risk and underserved communities.
“We value our commitment to our patients and our community,” said Austin Helton, CEO of Brevard Health Alliance, in the news release. “We are excited to partner and get these test kits out to the communities we serve.”