MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County on Thursday confirmed the first coronavirus case involving a Miami-Dade County public school student since schools reopened this week.
According to a news release from the school district, the student who tested positive for the virus attends William Lehman Elementary School in southwest Miami-Dade.
Local 10 News has also learned of cases at Downtown Doral Charter Elementary and Charles D. Wyche Jr. Elementary in Miami Gardens.
Students in Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade, along with students with special needs, returned to physical classrooms in the county Monday, while students in other grades gradually returned throughout the week.
William Lehman Elementary was electrostatically disinfected early Thursday morning and parents and staff members were notified about the COVID-19 case.
The student’s classmates and teacher are quarantining, but the school itself is back open.
“In accordance with Miami-Dade County Public Schools protocols, the student who tested positive will remain home until the Health Department provides clearance for a return to school,” the news release stated. “Following established contact tracing procedures, those who were identified as coming in close contact with the student have already been notified and will also remain home until they are also cleared.”
Parents outside the school on Thursday largely expressed no major surprise, and concern more than fear, upon learning the news.
“It is something I think we all expect is going to happen,” one parent said. “This virus is not going anywhere.”
Another parent said he planned to express to his son to wash his hands more often and make sure he is taking the proper safety precautions.
School district officials remind parents to keep their children at home if they are feeling ill.
“We continue to urge parents to complete the at-home checklist we have made available, every day, prior to sending their kids to school,” the news release stated. “In addition, all M-DCPS employees are required to complete a daily health screening prior to entering our schools and facilities. As safety is our top priority, we will continue to enforce our preventative hygiene and social distancing measures.”
Meanwhile, Local 10 News discovered Wednesday that another student tested positive for COVID-19 at Downtown Doral Charter Elementary.
The charter school was temporarily shut down and a letter was sent to parents informing them about the case.
According to the letter, all school facilities received a deep cleaning in accordance with CDC guidelines.
A student at Charles D. Wyche Jr. Elementary in Miami Gardens has also tested positive, a staff member confirmed to Local 10 News, though the district has not released that information.
United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernandez-Mats released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
“UTD has been made aware of two school-related COVID cases today in Miami-Dade County, which include Downtown Doral Charter and William Lehman Elementary, which is why UTD was concerned about the rush to reopen schools. We cannot underscore enough how serious and indiscriminate this virus is and how rapidly it can spread regardless of school or class size. We ask the community to please continue taking every precaution possible, including monitoring their family’s health closely, limiting the number of interactions they have with others outside of their home, keeping children home if they are sick, and whenever possible, providing their children and teachers with any additional resources for personal sanitation use in classrooms, such as antibacterial wipes, soap and spray. By working together we can all stay safe and continue working towards giving our children the learning experience they deserve.”
Broward County Public Schools will begin their phased reopening on Friday.
CLICK HERE to see Miami-Dade County Public Schools' coronavirus dashboard.