Coronavirus cases confirmed at nearly 500 schools across South Florida

32% increase in schools with cases over the past week

“It is out of control," says the president of the Miami-Dade teachers' union, noting that the number of students and staff quarantining surpasses the total of reported coronavirus cases.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The number of primary and secondary schools in South Florida that have had COVID-19 cases confirmed by the state is approaching 500.

The Florida health department’s latest report on coronavirus in schools, released Wednesday, lists 478 campuses across Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties that have had cases among students, staff or both since early September.

The total number of schools with infections in those four counties is up 32% (from 361) week over week.

Miami-Dade has 210 schools listed, up from 144 in last week’s report.

Broward has 127 schools with cases, up from 102 a week ago.

Palm Beach County has 129 schools on the list, up from 106.

Monroe has 12, up from nine a week ago.

The latest data includes cases confirmed through Oct. 24. The cumulative totals include cases dating back to Sept. 6, which is earlier than many South Florida students returned to the classroom.

Tradewinds Elementary School in Coconut Creek had six new cases on this week’s report (all students), the most in Broward County.

Miami Senior High School had five new cases (all students), most in Miami-Dade.

“We know that our teachers are scared,” said Karla Hernandez-Mats, president of the United Teachers of Dade.

She said the number of cases reported in schools doesn’t account for the hundreds of students and teachers who are now in quarantine.

“It is out of control,” Hernandez-Mats said. “That is the best way that I can describe it.”

These health department reports have been criticized by some as incomplete, as they only include cases confirmed by the state, not all that have been reported locally. Local educators have said that parents are notified of cases at their children’s schools before cases are certified by the state.

View and download the state’s latest report on COVID-19 in schools below:

(If you cannot see the chart above, click here.)

Local 10 News reporter Layron Livingston contributed to this report.