Classroom. Credit: Pixabay.
With the 2020-21 academic year nearly over, the state reached a troubling COVID milestone on the education front:
More than 100,000 COVID-19 cases emerged in Florida’s public and private K-12 school system from early September to mid-April.
To be exact, a Phoenix analysis of the most recent Department of Health data show at least 106,649 cases of COVID-19 related to Florida’s schools from Sept 6 through April 24.
The report also isolates data from the week of April 18 through April 24, showing 3,604 COVID cases related to Florida’s public and private K-12 schools.
The breakout is: 3,169 students cases of COVID-19, 157 teachers, 149 staff, and 129 other cases.
The Phoenix analysis of previous reports from the department found that sometime during the week of April 11 through April 17, Florida schools surpassed the 100,000 mark.
The state report does not show data from earlier than Sept. 6, 2020, so it’s possible that the 100,000 COVID cases milestone could have come earlier.
Districts are already preparing for the next academic year, and it’s not yet clear how much the COVID pandemic will continue to shape the 2021-22 school year.
Florida teachers and staff have had access to the COVID-19 vaccine since March through a federal retail pharmacy program, and Florida opened vaccine access to everyone those aged 16 and older since early April, which would include some teens.
The growing access to vaccines provides some comfort to educators about teaching in the classroom, the Phoenix previously reported. A COVID vaccine has not yet been approved for children under 16.
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