By Kevin Deutsch
Broward County Public Schools have recorded 2,248 COVID-19 cases among students and staff as of Sept. 27, up 540 from the 1,708 recorded as of Sept. 16, data show.
Coronavirus infections have been confirmed for at least 1,765 students and 483 school employees, according to the school system’s COVID-19 dashboard. The new data show self-reported coronavirus cases for school employees, as well as confirmed cases for students attending in-person instruction, since school began Aug. 18.
Additional data provided by the school district show 3,688 public school students in Broward have reportedly been symptomatic for possible COVID-19 infections as of Sept. 27, meaning they were sent home for testing due to COVID-related symptoms.
According to the district, it is a parent’s choice regarding whether to test their child for COVID.
The data also show a reported 3,484 students had close contact with COVID-positive students either in or out of school, data show.
A total of 1,716 Broward students were reported absent on Sept. 24 because they were in quarantine, data show. A quarantine absence is recorded when a parent or guardian notifies the school that their child has to quarantine related to COVID, according to the district.
District officials said they have no way of confirming the accuracy of parents’ reports.
As for school staffers, 30 of them have COVID test results pending as of Sept. 27, district data show, while 35 staffers have had close contact with COVID-positive people either in or out of school.
This month, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, selected by Gov. Ron DeSantis as Florida’s new surgeon general, issued a rule taking COVID quarantine decisions out of the hands of school districts and giving families “sole discretion” over whether to keep their kids home after a COVID exposure.
Broward County Public Schools and the Florida Department of Health in Broward this month began a program providing free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations to students 12 and older at the district’s middle and high schools, centers, and colleges.
No insurance is required, district officials said, and participation is voluntary.
Broward schools encourage all district teachers and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In August, the school board approved a $250 inventive bonus for school employees who get vaccinated.
The district is also enforcing a mask mandate for students and staff.
Only schools reporting at least one COVID-19 case are shown below. If cases increased since Sept. 16, the difference is included.
Millennium 6-12 Collegiate Academy reported 24 cases, up from 17.
Discovery Elementary School reported 18 cases, up from 15.
Pinewood Elementary School reported four cases, up from three.
Tamarac Elementary School reported four cases, up from two.
Coral Springs schools
Coral Glades High School has reported 36 COVID-19 cases since the first day of school, up from 24 on Sept. 16.
J.P. Taravella High School reported eight cases.
Coral Springs High School reported 21 cases, up from 16.
Coral Springs Middle School reported six cases, up from three.
Forest Glen Middle School reported six cases.
Ramblewood Middle School reported 14 cases, up from 10.
Sawgrass Springs Middle School reported one case.
Coral Springs Elementary School reported six cases.
Parkside Elementary School reported five cases.
Riverside Elementary School reported 17 cases, up from 11.
Westchester Elementary School reported 18 cases, up from 15.
Ramblewood Elementary School reported 21 cases, up from 17.
Country Hills Elementary School reported four cases, up from one.
Coral Park Elementary School reported six cases.
Park Springs Elementary School reported 21 cases, up from 18.
Forest Hills Elementary School reported four cases, up from three.
Eagle Ridge Elementary School reported eight cases, up from five.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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