Head of Miami-Dade schools confirms multiple COVID-19 cases in first week of in-person learning

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Multiple coronavirus cases have been confirmed since public school students in Miami-Dade County began returning to physical classrooms this week, including an employee who has tested positive. Parents we spoke to said they are on the fence about sending their kids back into the classroom after the remaining 40,000 students returned to Miami-Dade public schools for the final phase of the district’s reopening plan.

Within the first week of in-person learning, there have already been several confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said: “We now have four cases across Miami-Dade,” he said.

But late Friday afternoon, Local 10 learned of parents receiving a robocall about another case in Doral at the Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center. That case will have to be confirmed by the Florida Department of Health.

Carvalho confirmed that an employee at Poinciana Park Elementary School in northwest Miami-Dade tested positive for the virus. Three students were also confirmed as contracting the virus — at Charles David Wyche Elementary School in Miami Gardens, William Lehman Elementary, Kendall, and Zora Neale Hurston Elementary, Tamiami.

“We initiated a contact tracing process and then we messaged everyone in the school as well,” Carvalho said.

Those in contact were told to quarantine for 14 days and not to return until they were cleared by the Florida Department of Health.

Some parents are worried that they may be unable to follow all the rules.

Manuel Echeverria said: “We talk to him and tell him to make sure he keeps his hands clean, not to touch everybody’s stuff, and don’t put anything in your mouth.”

Signs at Lehman school indicated that the campus was electro-statically disinfected.

United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernández-Mats said that the first week have “been a real whirlwind.”

She urged parents to help teachers. “Please, if you have additional supplies that you can spare send them to your teachers. They need disinfecting wipes, they need spray, they need rubbing alcohol.”

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