Alachua County Public Schools had 65 students and faculty in quarantine as of Tuesday night — an increase of about 44 since March 30, 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 seven active student cases and five 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 26,664.
ACPS spokesperson Jackie Johnson said the positive cases could be tied to the district’s spring break, which started March 22 and ended March 26.
“Usually it takes a week for those cases to be reflected,” she said. “The good thing is a lot of the cases that we’ve heard about are people who haven’t been on campus since before spring break.”
Johnson credits the Alachua County Health Department and UF for their vaccination and testing efforts. She said this partnership with the county health department allowed them to test more young people than most school districts.
When anyone at an ACPS school comes in contact with a positive case, they are offered free testing through the county health department, Johnson said. As cases have dropped, she said they’ve had less reason for testing.
She said ACPS also works closely with the health department and UF to make sure staff are notified about vaccine options.
ACPS notified families through email, text, phone messages and social media that state eligibility for the vaccine was lowered to everyone 16 and older starting on Monday, Johnson said.
“We’re very happy that we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” Johnson said. “But we still have to make sure that we are following the protocols that have kept us safe up to this point
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 zero cases, as of Tuesday night.
In high schools, there are five student cases, and one staff case as of Tuesday night.
Contact Lucille Lannigan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LucilleLannigan.
Lucy is a senior journalism major and the metro editor for The Alligator. She has previously served as a news assistant and the East Gainesville reporter for the metro desk as well as the health and environment reporter on the university desk. When she’s not doing journalism you can find her painting or spending time outside.