MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Florida schools continues to rise.
As of Friday morning, there are now 329 cases, according to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools dashboard. There are 225 students and 104 employees who have tested positive for the virus.
Earlier this week, Miami-based FOH Health Essentials donated 500,000 disposable facemasks to the teachers union in an effort to stem the spread.
According to the dashboard, Miami Senior High has the highest number of confirmed cases with 10.
That’s followed by Coral Reef Senior High and Kendale Lakes Elementary, each with 8.
John A. Ferguson Senior High and Miami Lakes K-8 Center both have 7.
Bob Graham K-8 Center, Henry E.S. Reeves K-8 Center, Jack Gordon Elementary and North Miami Senior all have 6.
Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center, Kendale Elementary and Miami Coral Park Senior High all have 5.
Nine other schools have 4 cases, 17 schools have 3 and more than 100 others have either 2 or 1 case.
Several schools, including Barbara Goleman Senior High, which shows only 3 confirmed cases on the dashboard, have hundreds of students and teachers in quarantine because of possible exposure to the coronavirus.
Miami-Dade Public School officials say quarantining students and teachers does not necessarily mean that there is a significant increase in cases and says that people are in quarantine because of the process of contact tracing.
For example, if one student tests positive, and they have six school periods a day with 20 kids in each class, that is already 120 students that will have to quarantine.
MDCPS’ communications office outlined the process.
A student either self-reports or the Florida Department of Health reports the case to the school.
The District School Health Office works with the Florida Department of Health to contact trace. They would determine if the student plays a sport or rides the bus, for example, and then notify those who were in contact with the student. Then, they have to quarantine for 14 days.
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Miami-Dade Public Schools Office of Communications released this statement on Tuesday.
“The District COVID-19 Dashboard is not intended to be a real-time system for tracking self-reported employee and confirmed student cases. Families and employees should not rely on the dashboard to learn about cases in their school or worksite. They will be notified of self-reported cases at their school or worksite well ahead of that information being populated onto the dashboard.”
Parents should be checking their children every morning for symptoms and employees should be filling out their self-assessment health tests every single day.
School officials are notifying parents in schools with positive cases with robocalls and reaching out to parents of children who may have come into contact with those who tested positive for the virus.
In Broward County, the school district’s COVID-19 dashboard shows there have been 149 total cases, 74 students and 51 staff, in the last 30 days, impacting 93 sites. This database is updated twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.
There is also a statewide dashboard from the Florida Department of Health, but the total number of cases on both dashboards don’t match. According to a Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesperson, the reason they don’t match is because the schools dashboard only shows the students and employees who are attending in-person classes and not virtual learning, while the state dashboard includes all employees and students, whether they are at home or going to school.