With coronavirus cases in schools, pediatricians ask parents to stay vigilant

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the state, officials report that about 60% of students in Florida have returned to classrooms. That’s about 1.8 million children and teenagers.

Dr. Ronald Ford, the chief medical officer of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, said he hasn’t seen a big surge in cases since schoolhouses reopened in South Florida. That doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t be on guard, Ford said.

“My message to parents is to stay vigilant," Ford said.

Ford also suggests that parents be aware of whether or not there are COVID-19 cases in their children’s schools and if school administrators are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has said children and teenagers are at such low risk of dying of COVID-19 that keeping them at home doesn’t make sense. According to the Florida Department of Health’s Oct. 19 report, about 64,110 minors had been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the state — including 807 who were hospitalized and nine who died.

“Going forward, whatever the future may hold, school closures should be off the table,” DeSantis said, adding that keeping students on distance learning affects their physical, mental and social well-being.

Public school superintendents in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties have said they will rely on hyper-local data to make decisions on a school-by-school basis. Most recently, Miami-Dade closed two schools, Mast Academy and Coral Park Elementary, in an effort to contain coronavirus outbreaks.

As of Oct. 19, there were 13,537 pediatric COVID-19 cases in Miami-Dade and 8,476 pediatric cases in Broward, according to state data.

Epidemiologists have warned children can be silent spreaders. State data shows 17% of the minors who were tested in Miami-Dade County were infected. About 15% of the minors who were tested in Broward County were also infected.

Records show 76 schools in Broward County and 80 schools in Miami-Dade have reported cases. Broward County Public Schools also reported coronavirus cases associated with the district office in Fort Lauderdale and school transportation.

VIEW REPORT: Characteristics of COVID-19 cases in pediatric Florida residents

At least 76 schools in Broward

Here is the list of schools with reported coronavirus cases:

  1. American Heritage School in Plantation
  2. Annabel C. Perry PK-8 in Miramar (Broward County Public Schools)
  3. Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches
  4. Atlantic Montessori Charter School in Pembroke Pines
  5. Atlantic Technical College in Margate
  6. Blanche Ely High (Broward County Public Schools)
  7. Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale
  8. Calvary Christian Academy in Hollywood
  9. Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale
  10. Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory in Hollywood
  11. Chapel Trail Elementary (Broward County Public Schools)
  12. Cooper City High School (Broward County Public Schools)
  13. Coral Springs Middle School in Coral Springs (Broward County Public Schools)
  14. Country Isles Elementary (Broward County Public Schools)
  15. Croissant Park Elementary (Broward County Public Schools)
  16. Cross Creek School (Broward County Public Schools)
  17. Cypress Bay High School in Weston (Broward County Public Schools)
  18. Cypress Elementary (Broward County Public Schools)
  19. David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie
  20. Davie Elementary School in Davie (Broward County Public Schools)
  21. Davie Professional Development (Broward County Public Schools)
  22. Deerfield Beach Elementary School (Broward County Public Schools)
  23. Eagle Ridge Elementary School in Coral Springs
  24. Everglades Elementary (Broward County Public Schools)
  25. Everglades High School in Miramar
  26. Forest Hills Elementary School in Coral Springs
  27. Fort Lauderdale High School (Broward County Public Schools)
  28. Hawkes Bluff Elementary School (Broward County Public Schools)
  29. Henry D. Perry Education Center in Miramar (Broward County Public Schools)
  30. Hochberg Preparatory School in Hallandale
  31. Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science in Hollywood
  32. Imagine Charter School at Weston
  33. Indian Ridge Middle School in Davie (Broward County Public Schools)
  34. Lauderdale Lakes Middle School (Broward County Public Schools)
  35. Lauderhill Paul Turner Elementary School in Lauderdale Lakes (Broward County Public Schools)
  36. Liberty Elementary School (Broward County Public Schools)
  37. Lyons Creek Middle School in Coconut Creek (Broward County Public Schools)
  38. Maimonides Shalom/Brauser Academy in Fort Lauderdale
  39. Miramar High School in Miramar (Broward County Public Schools)
  40. Monarch High School in Coconut Creek
  41. Nativity School in Hollywood
  42. New River Middle School (Broward County Public Schools)
  43. North Broward Preparatory School
  44. North Lauderdale PK-8 (Broward County Public Schools)
  45. Nova Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary (Broward County Public Schools)
  46. Oriole Elementary School in Lauderdale Lakes (Broward County Public Schools)
  47. Park Ridge Elementary School (Broward County Public Schools)
  48. Park Springs Elementary School in Coral Springs
  49. Park Trails Elementary School in Parkland (Broward County Public Schools)
  50. Pembroke Pines Charter Elementary School
  51. Ramblewood Middle School in Coral Springs
  52. Renaissance Charter School at Cooper City
  53. Renaissance Charter School at University in Tamarac
  54. Rohr Bais Chaya Academy in Tamarac
  55. Sagemont Global Education in lower campus Weston
  56. Saint Bonaventure Catholic School in Davie
  57. Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale
  58. Sanders Park Elementary School in Pompano Beach (Broward County Public Schools)
  59. Seminole Middle School (Broward County Public Schools)
  60. Sheridan Hills Christian School in Hollywood
  61. Silver Lakes Elementary School (Broward County Public Schools)
  62. Silver Lakes Middle School in North Lauderdale
  63. Somerset Academy in Pembroke Pines
  64. Soul Academy
  65. Sunrise Middle School in Fort Lauderdale
  66. Tedder Elementary School (Broward County Public Schools)
  67. Temple Beth Emet Day School in Cooper City
  68. Temple Beth Torah
  69. Tradewinds Elementary School (Broward County Public Schools)
  70. Welleby Elementary School in Sunrise (Broward County Public Schools)
  71. Westchester Elementary School in Coral Springs (Broward County Public Schools)
  72. Western High School (Broward County Public Schools)
  73. Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale
  74. Weston Christian Academy in Weston
  75. William T. McFatter Technical High (Broward County Public Schools)
  76. Wilton Manors Elementary School (Broward County Public Schools)

At least 80 schools in Miami-Dade

Here is the list of schools with reported coronavirus cases:

  1. Alexander School, Inc.
  2. Arcola Lake Elementary School
  3. Atlantis Academy
  4. Barbara Goleman Senior High in Miami Lakes
  5. Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami-Dade
  6. Beyond Expectations Academy in Miami-Dade
  7. Brownsville Middle School
  8. Campbell Drive K-8 Center in Homestead
  9. Champagnat Catholic School of Hialeah
  10. Charles David Wyche, Jr. Elementary School in Miami Gardens
  11. Children’s Rainbow Dayschool Academy in the Goulds
  12. Christ Fellowship Academy in Palmetto Bay
  13. Christina M. Eve Elementary School
  14. Christopher Columbus High School
  15. Concordia Lutheran School
  16. Coral Park Elementary School
  17. Diamond Minds Transformational Leadership
  18. Divine Savior Lutheran Academy in Doral
  19. Einsteins Learning Center 1 Inc. in Hialeah
  20. Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center in Doral
  21. Flagami Elementary School in Miami
  22. Florida Christian School
  23. Frances S. Tucker Elementary School
  24. Granada Day School in Coral Gables
  25. Gratigny Elementary School
  26. Gulliver Academy in Coral Gables
  27. Gulliver Preparatory in Pinecrest
  28. Gulliver Schools-Pinecrest High School
  29. Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High
  30. Horeb Christian School in Hialeah
  31. iMater Academy in Hialeah
  32. Immaculata-La Salle High School
  33. International Bilingual Preschool
  34. International Studies Charter Middle School
  35. Kendall Christian
  36. Key Point Christian Academy
  37. Keys Gate Charter High School in Homestead
  38. Kinloch Park Elementary School
  39. La Progresiva Presbyterian School Inc.
  40. Lakeview Elementary School
  41. Lincoln-Marti Charter School in Little Havana
  42. Lincoln-Marti Community Agency
  43. Lincoln-Marti Community Agency in Homestead
  44. Lincoln-Marti Community Agency in the Goulds
  45. Lubavitch Educational Center Inc.
  46. Mandarin Lakes K-8 Academy in Homestead
  47. Mesivta of Greater Miami in Miami Beach
  48. Miami Country Day School
  49. Miami Lakes Educational Center in Miami Lakes
  50. Miami Shores Presbyterian Church School in Miami Shores
  51. Miami Southridge Senior High
  52. Mother of Our Redeemer Catholic School
  53. Norman S. Edelcup/Sunny Isles Beach K-8 in Sunny Isles Beach
  54. North Dade Middle School in Miami Gardens
  55. North Miami Beach Senior High
  56. Palm Springs Elementary School in Hialeah
  57. Palm Springs Middle School in Hialeah
  58. Ransom Everglades High School
  59. Royal Green Elementary School
  60. Saint Brendan High School
  61. Saint Timothy Catholic Parish School
  62. Saint Timothy Parish School
  63. Saints Peter Paul School
  64. Shelton Academy in Doral
  65. Snow White The Seven Dwarfs School in Hialeah
  66. Somerset Academy
  67. South Miami Senior High School
  68. Sunset Park Elementary School
  69. The 2nd House Academy Corp.
  70. The Cushman School
  71. Theodore R. and Thelma A. Gibson Charter School
  72. Tropical Elementary School
  73. True North Classical Academy
  74. West Hialeah Gardens Elementary School in Hialeah Gardens
  75. Westwood Christian School
  76. William H. Lehman Elementary School
  77. Yeshiva Elementary in Miami Beach
  78. Yeshiva Elementary in Miami-Dade
  79. Yeshiva Toras Chaim in North Miami Beach
  80. Zora Neale Hurston Elementary School

Sources: Florida Department of Health on Oct. 10 and Broward County Public Schools’s dashboard on Oct. 20

About the Authors:

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. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.