MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami-Dade County Public Schools is nearing 400 confirmed COVID-19 cases and nearly 250 in Broward.
As of Thursday morning, there are 397 cases, according to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools dashboard. There are 259 students and 138 employees who have tested positive for the virus.
According to the dashboard, Miami Senior High has the highest number of confirmed cases with 13.
That’s followed by Coral Reef Senior High and Bob Graham K-08 Education Center which both have 9.
John A. Ferguson Senior High, Kendale Lakes Elementary, and Miami Lakes K-8 Center each have 8 cases.
Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center and Henry E.S. Reeves K-8 Center each has 7.
Jack Gordon Elementary, Miami Coral Park Senior High and North Miami Senior High all have 6.
In total, 183 sites are reporting positive cases, out of 397.
Some schools have hundreds of students and teachers in quarantine because of possible exposure to the coronavirus, even though there may not be a large number of cases posted on the dashboard.
In some cases, so called “physical’ students who remain on campus are being taught online in large, empty school auditoriums because there aren’t enough teachers or substitutes to open classrooms.
Miami-Dade Public School officials have said previously that quarantining students and teachers does not necessarily mean that there is a significant increase in cases and 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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A previous statement from Miami-Dade Public Schools Office of Communications says, “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 249 total cases, 113 students and 122 staff, in the last 30 days, impacting 129 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.