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St. Lucie County health director presents latest coronavirus data to school leaders

Parents face Wednesday deadline to choose distance learning for their children
Clint Sperber, health officer and administrator for the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County, talks to school board
Posted at 6:59 AM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 11:46:25-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — How would health officials handle a coronavirus case in a local school?

That's what Clint Sperber, the director of the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County, highlighted on Tuesday.

Speaking to the St. Lucie County School Board, Sperber said that if schools can follow health guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Health, they should be able to open up.

According to the latest numbers from health officials, there are 3,134 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in St. Lucie County.

While the number of cases is going up in the county, the percentage of positive rates is going down, Sperber said.

SPECIAL SECTION: Back to School

Sperber presented a graphic showing how the Department of Health would respond if a St. Lucie County student tests positive for COVID-19 or has come in contact with someone who has tested postive for COVID-19.

If the child has been home for two days before the onset of symptoms, there would be no impact on the classroom and the student would have to isolate at home for an appropriate amount of time.

If, however, the child has been in the classroom with symptoms, other students and faculty in that classroom must quarantine for 14 days from their last contact with the infected student.

During the 14-day quarantine, students and faculty would have to monitor for symptoms. If there are no symptoms for 14 days, they may return to class.

Sperber's presentation to the school board came one day after the St. Lucie County issued a new mask mandate that will take effect on Wednesday.

St. Lucie County is giving parents three options for their children for the 2020-21 academic year. They have until Wednesday to decide if they want an online option.

Parents can choose from traditional in-person classes, distance learning, or the Mosaic Digital Academy, which requires a one-year commitment. If parents want to choose a virtual option, they must complete a form online or over the phone by the end of the day on Wednesday.