South Florida public schools to remain open amid COVID-19 pandemic

After-school activities to remain open in Miami-Dade; closed in Broward

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Superintendents announced Thursday afternoon public schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties will remain open even amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Broward Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie and Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho disagreed on after-school activities. Runcie is closing all after-school activities in Broward. Carvalho is keeping them open in Miami-Dade County.

Carvalho said he is working to make sure children who live in migrant camps in Homestead and Florida City, the estimated 9,000 children who are homeless and the hundreds of children in foster care are getting their needs met.

“We have the capacity, the will and the skill to provide meals for children ... this is not a time that we should be counting kids,” Carvalho said, adding the district needs help from the federal government to be able to continue distribution if the schools are shut down in the future.

Carvalho and Runcie said there are no COVID-19 cases linked to either of the school districts. Both districts are preparing for the possibility of having to close schools.

Carvalho and Runcie also their districts will be taking precautionary measures that include canceling field trips, increasing education on hygiene and implementing viral disinfecting protocols. Both districts report they have the cleaning supplies needed.

Both districts will also be encouraging self-quarantine when students, teachers and administrators report symptoms. Carvalho asked parents to talk to students who spread rumors or create pranks on the subject.

“Speak with your children about what this virus is; what it isn’t,” Carvalho said, adding “some degree of social isolation” is important.

The Florida Department of Education is working with the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor public schools.

About the Authors:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.