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Florida Department of Health releases school COVID-19 numbers

'I think parents are entitled to know what’s going on'
Classroom desk (file photo)
Posted at 10:51 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 23:39:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health released Tuesday the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools statewide.

The department confirmed just more than 4,300 cases of COVID-19 in primary and secondary schools statewide between Sept. 6 and Sept. 26, 2020.

That number includes the combined cases for teachers, students and staff members. It also indicates whether they showed symptoms.

The department reported the following local numbers:

Fifty total cases in Palm Beach County, including 38 students, four teachers, three staff members and five unknown positions. Thirty-one people experienced COVID-19 symptoms. Seventeen people reported having no symptoms.

Forty total cases in Martin County, including 32 students, two teachers and six unknown positions. Thirty people reported symptoms. Seven people did not report symptoms.

Twenty-seven total cases in St. Lucie County, including 24 students, two teachers and one unknown position. Twenty-two people experienced symptoms. Five people did not report symptoms.

Twenty-four total cases in Indian River County, including 16 students, three teachers and five unknown positions. Sixteen people experienced symptoms. Eight people did not report symptoms.

Parents like Dr. Rabih Kashouty are glad the FDOH is now releasing that data, though it does not include the entirety of the school year.

"Absolutely, that's something the community should have access to instead of keeping the numbers to themselves," Kashouty said. "I think parents are entitled to know what's going on."

He is a father of two and said he is among the parents who made the tough decision to send their children back to school in-person.

"It's still the first month of school, so we have to see what happens in the next two to three months," Kashouty said. “As long as we keep the trend not going up to high, I think we're OK."

A representative for the Department of Health said there is no indication in the data as to whether or not students, staff or teachers actually contracted the virus in school and that the spread has also occurred outside of schools during after-school activities.