Alachua County Public Schools had 162 students and faculty in quarantine as of Tuesday night — an increase of about 20 since April 13, 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.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 16 active student cases and two active staff cases, representing students and staff who reported a positive test result to ACPS in the past 10 days. The district’s total enrollment is 26,679.
ACPS spokesperson Jackie Johnson said the slight increase in positive cases could be tied to the district’s spring break, which started March 22 and ended March 26. She said any positive cases from spring break could take one to three weeks to show.
Some of the positive cases are tied to three groups of siblings, Johnson said.
If a student in a class tests positive, students or staff who had significant contact with them are told to quarantine, she said. On the ninth day of quarantine, they can get tested and may return the next day if the test is negative.
COVID-19 vaccine clinics open up this week at Buchholz and Gainesville High School Thursday morning, Johnson said. She is enthusiastic about this opportunity for students because high school students are an important target for vaccines, as they make up the majority of positive cases among students in the district.
“We are hoping that those high school students who haven’t already been vaccinated will take advantage of the opportunity,” Johnson said.
The clinics are open to any student, at least 16 years old, who attends Buchholz or Gainesville High, Digital Academy students, and staff, she said. Students under the age of 18 must have a consent form signed by their guardians. They will be open during school hours to make it as convenient and easy for families as possible.
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 seven student cases and one staff case, as of Tuesday night.
In middle schools, there are five student cases and one staff case, as of Tuesday night.
In high schools, there are four student cases, as of Tuesday night.
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Lucy Lannigan is a second-year journalism student from Key West. She works as a news assistant on the metro team. When Lucy’s not reporting, she loves to paint and spend time outside.