FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – An additional 152 primary and secondary schools in South Florida confirmed COVID-19 cases last week, raising the number of schools with verified infections to 827 across Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties.
That’s according to data from the Florida Department of Health, which releases a weekly report on coronavirus cases at schools across the state dating back to Sept. 6. The latest report — released Wednesday and included at the bottom of this page — includes cases confirmed through Nov. 7.
The report does not specify whether the infected students and faculty have been participating in in-person learning.
Miami-Dade has 359 schools listed, up from 289 in last week’s report.
Broward has 257 schools with cases, up from 200 a week ago.
Palm Beach County has 198 schools on the list, up from 174.
Monroe has 13, up one from 12.
According to the state, 15 students at Fort Lauderdale High School had cases confirmed last week (Nov. 1-7), the most of any Broward school. At least 11 of those students were showing symptoms. The school has had 17 confirmed cases dating back to early September.
Asked about the cases at Fort Lauderdale High, a spokeswoman for Broward County Public Schools sent a statement that read in part:
“The District has discussed this situation with the Department of Health and it has not attributed the rise in cases to transmission during the school day. With our schools set up to follow CDC guidelines, everyone is six feet apart, wearing masks and cleaning and sanitation protocols are being carried out. It is extremely unlikely that students become infected with COVID-19 at school. Multiple cases of COVID-19 are largely influenced by what students do outside of the school, which is why it is so important that families and the community adhere to CDC guidelines. ... It is not a school outbreak, but rather students who have contracted COVID-19 are identified through our school and district safeguards.”
In Miami-Dade, Lubavitch Educational Center confirmed 13 virus cases last week, including at least 11 students. At least five were reporting symptoms. In total, Lubavitch has had 25 infections confirmed since Sept. 6.
Separately, Miami-Dade County Public Schools maintains its own dashboard showing cases among students and employees attending in-person learning.
District leaders and teachers have expressed concern about rising coronavirus numbers in recent weeks, a trend that can be seen in Florida and across the country.
The state has reported an overall positivity rate above 8% in three of the past four days, and FIU infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty told Local 10 News on Tuesday that “the trend is really bad.”
The health department’s weekly reports on COVID-19 in schools 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.)