But still, the state has not provided this important information.
On campus, ‘people were breaking the rules’
The state’s health department reported that Florida began reopening the schools on August 10. On that day, 42,761 children under 18 were infected with coronovirus.
That week, nine of the 12 school districts that opened counties with a positivity rate of more than 5% were recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to offer in-person learning in schools Went. CNN confirmed the list of plans provided by an attorney for the Florida Education Association and positivity with the Florida Department of Health.
A month later, 53,717 Florida children have tested positive for Kovid-19, with a positivity of 14.3%, state data show.
In Martin County, according to the latest state data, the positivity rate among tested children is 20.5%.
Reece Richardson began seventh grade in person at Martin County Public School on August 11. But after about a week and a half, she decided to switch to virtual learning.
“The kids were taking off their masks,” Reese said. “They were touching. They were locked in the hall. People were breaking the rules.”
The Martin County School District is one of the districts that release its own Kovid-19 data through the news media. The day after reopening, an entire class was placed under quarantine. A month later, it has reported 23 positive or anticipated positive cases and left 510 students. The district has 16,500 K-12 students.
Lindsey Tarpey praised the transparency from the district, he said. She works for the Martin County School District, and her children, ages 10 and 5, study at Jensen Beach Elementary School in the county.
“I used that information to decide for them to go to school,” Tarpey said.
But Jill Richardson, Reese’s mother and a former teacher, wants more transparency from the district and the state.
“I don’t feel like I’m getting up-to-date or the exact number,” Richardson said.
District-level data varies in detail
Depending on how the data is tracked and displayed, this piece-by-piece approach can make it harder to monitor new cases and not specify the schools, grades, or classrooms where infected students have been. .
In a new TV ad, Florida’s largest teachers union is pushing the state to release comprehensive data.
“As the virus spreads, at the top they are not giving us the information we need,” the narrator says in the advertisement. “Instead, Gov. DeSantis plays politics with the health of our children.”
“When we deny what is going on in schools, … when we deny that information, it causes a very rapid spread,” said Andrew Sper, president of the Florida Education Association.
Why his administration did not release school-specific Kovid-19 data, DeSantis said during a September 11 news conference.
In response to a CNN question, he said, “It is not that if a test is reported to the state, the state necessarily knows which school it came from.
Dissentes has asked its Commissioner of Education and the State Surgeon General to produce the information. But no data release date has been provided.
Mental health of students is also a factor
Superintendent of Police Laurie Gaylord told CNN that the state does not require Martin County Public Schools to report the number of students and employees who are quarantined or have tested positive.
Students living in Martin County live in the home. In some cases, a teacher – considered an essential worker – is required to report with the same coronavirus virus to work for in-person instruction the next day.
Despite all these challenges, many parents and teachers in Florida are comfortable with brick-and-mortar schooling. In Martin County Public Schools, 64% of students are attending individual classes, and 36% are learning remotely.
At Jensen Beach Elementary School in Martin County, halls are marked to facilitate social distinction. The dining hall is disinfected after every use. But in some classrooms, desks are no more than 6 feet apart. Parents were warned that social disturbances would not be possible all the time, Gaylord said, so it is necessary to wear masks in schools.
She said Tarapi, the mother and employee of Martin School, is confident that the district is doing everything she says to keep her children safe. And she believes that there is no alternative to being in class for mental health and the well being of her children.
“With everything in life,” he said, “there is a risk.”