Alachua County Public Schools has 141 students and faculty in quarantine as of Tuesday night — an increase of almost 100 since April 6, according to the school district’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Under the district’s protocol, those in quarantine reflect positive COVID-19 cases and people who had significant contact with someone who tested positive.
If a student in a class tests positive, it is not protocol for the entire class to quarantine in all instances, ACPS spokesperson Jackie Johnson said. However, if the teacher or school learns the student had significant contact with others, the school will always act on the side of caution and ask the people in close contact to quarantine.
“Even when there are a lower number of cases, you may have more people in quarantine simply because one or more of those cases have had more contacts than usual,” Johnson said.
This is typically the case with employees who have had significant contact with a large number of students, she said.
As of Tuesday night, there were nine active student cases and five active staff cases, representing students and staff who have reported a positive test result to ACPS in the past 10 days. The district’s total enrollment is 26,660 students.
Johnson said the positive cases could be tied to the district’s spring break, which started March 22 and ended March 26. The district expects positive cases to increase over a one to three week period after major holidays and vacations, so the results from spring break come as no surprise.
The district determined there have been no instances of a COVID-19 outbreak on school grounds. An outbreak is defined as an index, or initial positive case, plus three more positive cases related to that case within seven days.
ACPS continues to follow the advice of the Scientific Medical Advisory Council, which includes UF experts who monitor the county’s COVID-19 cases on a daily basis and determine classroom spread, Johnson said.
In elementary schools, there are two student cases and four staff cases, as of Tuesday night.
In middle schools, there are three student cases and one staff, as of Tuesday night.
In high schools, there are four student cases, as of Tuesday night.
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Jiselle Lee is a second-year journalism student and the East Gainesville Reporter. This is her second semester at The Alligator, and she is excited to continue her work at the Metro desk. In her spare time, she enjoys eating her way around Gainesville.