MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami-Dade school is pivoting to online learning on Wednesday after at least three people at the school tested positive for COVID-19.
Coral Park Elementary, at 1225 SW 97th Avenue, posted on Instagram that “In-person instruction will pivot to online learning from home on Wednesday, October 14th, to ensure that those who had directed contact are notified and to allow for thorough sanitization of school.”
“I guess they are closing it to clean it because of the pandemic. I will have to go back home now,” said parent Marco Pena who didn’t get the message that the school was closed.
The Miami-Dade school district said one employee and one student tested positive. They issued the following statement on the matter.
“In an abundance of caution and after consultation with the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade, Coral Park Elementary School will pivot to online instruction today after an employee and a student reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. The transition ensured that those who came in close contact with the individuals were notified and that all buildings in the school were thoroughly sanitized. As always, our actions will be guided by the health and wellbeing of our students and employees.”
Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, Chief Communications Officer.
Gonzalez-Diego later reached out to CBS4’s Peter D’Oench to let him know the school would be reopening for in-person learning on Thursday.
The school had previously reported two cases, which brings the total to four cases. The school district dashboard, as of Wednesday morning, showed three cases at Coral Park Elementary.
The school district said positive cases reported by employees are put onto the dashboard when they receive them. Cases reported by students are not populated until the state’s health department confirms them. The information on the employee is already on the dashboard. As soon as the health department confirms the student case, that one will be added to the dashboard.
“I am very concerned that there could be multiple teachers who might test positive who have to be quarantined and we are trying to avoid that and make sure we keep out kids and the community safe. There are important safety measures that have to be taken including the deep cleaning to make sure others avoid the quarantine,” said United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernández-Mats.
“It’s also important that every single person, student, and staff remember in our community remain safe,” she added.
As of Wednesday, there are 13 confirmed cases in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Eleven students and two employees according to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools COVID-19 dashboard, since schools started reopening on Oct. 5.
In addition to the cases at Coral Park Elementary, there are two cases at MAST Academy. There is one each at Bowman Ashe/Doolin K-8 Academy, Charles D. Wyche Elementary, Flagami Elementary, North Dade Center of Modern Language Arts, Poinciana Park Elementary, Royal Green Elementary, William H. Lehman Elementary, and Zora N. Hurston Elementary.
Hernández-Mats said the district’s dashboard may not be telling the whole truth.
“We have to look at the Department of Health’s dashboard numbers and there’s a problem with them matching up with the district’s dashboard. We are seeing that not all the numbers are reflected. They need to be validated. We have heard that there are three employees at Poinciana Park who have tested positive and we don’t see that reflected either in the school district’s dashboard,” said Hernández-Mats.
Other reported cases not on the dashboard include one at Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 and one at Downtown Doral Charter School.
New figures released on the Broward school district dashboard, which covers the last 30 days, show 47 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and there was one positive test involving a student at Chapel Trail Elementary.
Four students with symptoms have been sent home from four different elementary schools.
There is however a sign that school is trying to return to normal in Broward County. School Superintendent Robert Runcie was at Cooper City High Wednesday to announce fall sports were back.
“Many of our fall sports will begin practice this week and being competition Oct. 26,” he said.
In making this move to Phase 3, there are a number of procedures put in place to ensure safety, such pre-practice screenings and tests.
“We take their temperature and a reading of their blood oxygen levels as well,” said Runcie.
The safety procedures will keep those potentially infected off the field, since a positive test means quarantine and contact tracing.
“Many of our students live for these activities and we wanted to make sure we are able to do this in a way that is safe,” he said.