More than 800 COVID-19 cases reported in NW Florida schools in two months

Coronavirus

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Over the past two months, more than 400 students and teachers in Okaloosa County tested positive for COVID-19.

Escambia County, which has the most students and teachers in our Northwest Florida viewing area, actually has the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in schools.

The following numbers from the Florida Department of Health are cases reported in schools between September 6 and November 14.

Escambia County: 184
Santa Rosa County: 242
Okaloosa County: 407

This week, the Okaloosa County School Board approved a policy strongly encouraging face coverings but some board members think that’s not enough. Dr. Kelly voted yes but said she wanted masks to be required.

Masks are also encouraged in Santa Rosa and Escambia County Schools.

“Now is the time to galvanize and reinforce our district policy about masks and health and safety measures,” Carol Cleaver said.

Cleaver is a teacher at Ferry Pass Middle School in Escambia County and Vice President of the Escambia Education Association. She addressed the school board this week.

“We have students who are being pulled for quarantine daily,” Cleaver said. “We definitely have staff members who are getting sick.”

The following are the individual schools with the highest numbers in Northwest Florida.

Fort Walton Beach High School: 79 (the highest in Florida)
Pace High School: 52
Pensacola Catholic High School: 33

The health department notes that viral transmission seems to occur almost entirely outside school campuses.

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