New COVID-19 cases among staff and students more than tripled after the first four days back in classrooms from winter break — and this data could be an underestimation, ACPS spokesperson Jackie Johnson said.
“We’ve had the highest number of active cases we’ve ever had,” Johnson said. “And we’ve got the highest total weekly number we’ve had since schools reopened.”
After the first week back, there were 334 new student cases and 55 new staff cases — contributing to a total of 476 reported cases among both groups.
During the week prior, in which staff and students were on break, there were still 78 new student cases and 16 new staff cases reported. Compared with this first week back in classrooms, staff cases increased by 243% and student cases increased by 328%. Even with a reported increase in cases, Johnson said these numbers are most likely an undercount.
“The problem is the lag time with the tests,” Johnson said. “Employees notify us that they’ve got symptoms, and it takes them two or three days to get a test appointment and it takes them another couple of days to get the results back.”
The mask mandate for employees, visitors and volunteers aimed to combat the spread of the virus. Despite this effort, ACPS has had the highest weekly total of active cases among staff since August 2020.
ACPS warns families that the increase in staff cases could impact daily operations such as bus transportation. The county also expects more teacher absences during this surge.
Throughout this month, the Alachua County Health Department is offering vaccines at all ACPS elementary and middle schools. Anyone above the age of 5 can get a vaccine.
In elementary schools, there were 112 new student cases and 29 new staff cases as of Sunday.
In middle schools, there were 79 new student cases and five new staff cases. High schools saw 141 new student cases and 12 new staff cases. In staff departments, there were seven new staff cases.
In elementary schools, there are 112 new student cases and 29 new staff cases as of Sunday.
Alachua Elementary: 9 students and 3 staff
Archer Community: 2 students and 1 staff
Chiles Elementary: 2 students and 2 staff
Glen Springs Elementary: 13 students and 1 staff
Hidden Oak Elementary: 7 students and 1 staff
High Springs Community: 9 students
Idylwild Elementary: 9 students
Irby Elementary: 7 students and 5 staff
Lake Forest Elementary: 3 students and 5 staff
Littlewood Elementary: 2 students and 6 staff
Meadowbrook Elementary: 1 student
Metcalfe Elementary: 2 students
Newberry Elementary: 7 students
Norton Elementary: 10 students and 2 staff
Parker Elementary: 4 students and 3 staff
Rawlings Elementary: 1 student and 2 staff
Stephen Foster Elementary: 2 students
Terwilliger Elementary: 14 students and 1 staff
Wiles Elementary: 21 students and 2 staff
Williams Elementary: 6 students and 1 staff
In middle schools, there are 79 new student cases and 5 new staff cases.
Fort Clarke Middle: 16 students and 3 staff
Howard Bishop Middle: 17 students
Kanapaha Middle: 27 students and 2 staff
Lincoln Middle: 13 students and 1 staff
Mebane Middle: 10 students and 1 staff
Oak View Middle: 9 students
Westwood Middle: 7 students
The centers have 2 new student cases and 2 new staff cases.
Sidney Lanier Center: 2 students and 3 staff
In high schools, there are 141 new student cases and 12 new staff cases.
Buchholz High: 66 students and 10 staff
Eastside High: 21 students
Gainesville High: 62 students and 1 staff
Newberry High: 11 students
PAM @ Loften High: 2 staff
Santa Fe High: 14 students and 2 staff
In staff departments, there are 7 new staff cases.
Fearnside Family Services: 1 staff
District Office: 2 staff
Maintenance: 4 staff
Sivia Center: 3 staff
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Emma is a second-year journalism major with a minor in Spanish. She is the education reporter this semester. She's from Palm Harbor, Florida, but her second home is the gym. When she’s not writing she’s either deadlifting, squatting or benching.