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Friday, December 01, 2023

ACPS new COVID cases continue to rise

Last week case count appeared to be on the decline until reported late results returned

Alachua County Public Schools saw an increase in the number of new cases from Jan. 9 to Jan. 16, after a record number of new cases the week prior. However, these numbers could increase as parents and employees report test results from before the holiday weekend, ACPS spokesperson Jackie Johnson said.  

Two weeks into the 2022 school year, there were 849 new student cases and 155 new staff cases — contributing to a total of 1,004 reported cases. The total stood at 750 the week of Jan. 2.  

As of Thursday, ACPS reported 1,165 students and 188 staff with COVID-19 within the last 10 days. Last week’s case count could be updated throughout this week due to a lag in testing results, Johnson said — and it has been. 

“We may hear about kids who were tested last week but didn’t get the results until this week,” Johnson said. 

New cases continue to climb as results are reported to the district. This lag in testing leads to underestimations. 

This month’s data is much higher than the new case counts earlier this school year. Johnson contributes the increase to the omicron variant. 

In August, when students and teachers returned from summer break and the Delta variant was prevalent, new case totals averaged at 258 cases per week. The average for January so far is 877 new cases per week. 

Staff cases continue to be more frequent than in the past. Early in the school year, the highest number of new cases among staff was 39 the week of Aug. 8, which was also the first week that students were back in classrooms. 

Now, reported staff cases stand at 128 and 155 in the last two weeks — the highest they’ve ever been. 

ACPS can’t require asymptomatic employees or students to quarantine because of Florida law. This is an issue because students or teachers who have had close contact with an asymptomatic person do not have to quarantine, Johnson said. However, positive cases must quarantine. 

Positive cases must be reported to ACPS to be included in the dashboard. At-home tests are not automatically accounted for. If the district receives a report from a family of a positive at-home test, it adds the case to the count. 

As of Thursday, every school in the county has at least three cases of COVID-19 — most have around 30 or more. And these numbers could be underestimated, Johnson said. 

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The new case counts for the previous weeks of Jan. 2 and Jan. 9 are still being updated this week. Check the ACPS COVID dashboard for updated data. 

Elementary schools:

Alachua Elementary: 6 students and 2 staff

Archer Community: 24 students and 7 staff

Chiles Elementary: 37 students and 5 staff

Glen Springs Elementary: 1 student and 2 staff

Hidden Oak Elementary: 46 students and 4 staff

High Springs Community: 54 students and 3 staff

Idylwild Elementary: 42 students and 4 staff

Irby Elementary: 21 students and 3 staff

Lake Forest Elementary: 18 students and 4 staff

Littlewood Elementary: 45 students and 5 staff

Meadowbrook Elementary: 24 students and 7 staff

Metcalfe Elementary: 10 students and 2 staff

Newberry Elementary: 36 students and 6 staff

Norton Elementary: 26 students and 4 staff

Parker Elementary: 20 students and 3 staff

Rawlings Elementary: 12 students and 10 staff

Shell Elementary: 30 students and 6 staff

Stephen Foster Elementary: 23 students and 4 staff

Talbot Elementary: 8 students and 2 staff

Terwilliger Elementary: 25 students and 3 staff

Wiles Elementary: 34 students and 5 staff

Williams Elementary: 16 students and 2 staff 

Middle schools:

Fort Clarke Middle: 41 students and 4 staff

Howard Bishop Middle: 35 students and 6 staff

Kanapaha Middle: 85 students and 7 staff

Lincoln Middle: 27 students 

Mebane Middle: 24 students and 2 staff

Oak View Middle: 15 students and 6 staff

Westwood Middle: 39 students and 2 staff

The centers: 

A Quinn Jones Center: 4 students and 2 staff

Sidney Lanier Center: 1 student and 3 staff

High schools:

Buchholz High: 99 students and 7 staff

Eastside High: 37 students and 7 staff

Gainesville High: 90 students and 3 staff

Hawthorne Middle/High: 17 students and 2 staff

Newberry High: 56 students and 6 staff

PAM @ Loften High: 10 students and 3 staff

Santa Fe High: 27 students and 3 staff 

Staff departments:

Fearnside Family Services: 5 staff

District Office: 8 staff

Horizon Center: 2 staff

Maintenance: 9 staff

Sivia Center: 3 staff

Transportation: 5 staff

Contact Emma at or follow her on Twitter @emmabehrmann.

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Emma Behrmann

Emma Behrmann is a fourth-year journalism major and the Fall 2023 digital managing editor. In the past, she was metro desk editor, K-12 education reporter and a university news assistant. When she's not reporting, she's lifting at the gym.

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