By Joan Murray

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – With the delta variant killing people every day, clergy from every faith gathered at First Baptist Church Piney Grove in Lauderdale Lakes on Monday to urge South Floridians to get a COVID shot and wear a mask.

“COVID is real. It’s killed pastors. It doesn’t care if you are a politician or a bus driver,” said Rickey Scott of new Hope Baptist Church.

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More children under 12 in Florida are getting sick. And with public schools in Broward now entering a second full week, the number of COVID cases is rising.

Over 350 students and staff are COVID positive, and the cases are across the county.

Among the highest:

  • New River Middle – 20
  • Western High – 11
  • Hollywood Hills High – 9
  • Ramblewood Elementary – 8

In addition to the cases, close to 4,000 Broward students are in quarantine. Some of those students are getting instruction at home.

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In a letter to some parents, they’re told “quarantined students will be able to access their classes through a Teams link on their teacher‘s Canvas page.”

“Surveys are telling us that students are five months behind, so we do not want them to fall further behind,” said Broward School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood explaining why quarantined students are getting online access to courses.

Some schools are over capacity. And with students often in cramped quarters, there is a real worry of a COVID outbreak.

Dr. Osgood said it is a situation they are monitoring school to school.

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“We cannot practice six feet of social distancing in most schools, that’s why we are telling them to wear masks as a mitigation tool,” she said.