“As of 7 a.m. Monday, 5,599 students and 316 employees in Hillsborough County Public Schools are in isolation or quarantine. Isolation refers to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 while quarantine refers to those who have had close contact with a positive case,” a Monday notice from Hillsborough County public schools explained.
Fox 13 reported that number was an increase of around 1,200 students from Friday, including those who either tested positive or were exposed to a positive COVID case without a mask.
Data from the county’s COVID-19 dashboard shows 1,289 total reported cases since Aug. 2, including nearly 400 student cases reported Monday.
“Context: between March ‘20 and Aug. 1 this year, there were approx 8,800. So in 15 days, district has had >10% of the previous 17 months of cases,” Fox 13’s Aaron Mesmer tweeted Monday.
The district’s reopening plan notes that students and employees who are fully vaccinated and have been exposed to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have remained asymptomatic since the exposure.
The Hillsborough County School Board is set to hold a meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss the latest district COVID-19 impact and the “best way to mitigate against the spread of the virus, up to and including mandatory face coverings for all students and staff.”
The delta variant has spread across the state and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported that about 15,600 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Florida on Monday.
Doctors have reported more infections among children, but Gov. Ron DeSantis has maintained that pediatric hospitalization rates are steady.
Miami-Dade County will likely require students to wear face masks when its classrooms reopen and Broward County will also be wearing masks — ignoring the governor’s July executive order giving parents the “right to choose” for their children.
Hillsborough has not required masks in classrooms.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised that masks, a key coronavirus-prevention tool that doesn’t pose health risks for kids older than toddler age, be worn indoors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.