Saturday, October 17, 2020
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COVID-19 continuing to wreak havoc on schools throughout Marion County

New COVID-19 cases continue to be identified in schools across Marion County.

As of Saturday, the Marion County School District was reporting 17 cases from this past week among 11 students and six employees. Another 154 students and 14 employees were quarantining after direct contact with COVID-19 patients. And from Friday, Oct. 9 through Thursday, Oct. 15, 328 students were sent home with COVID-19 symptoms, according to the district’s website.

The Marion County schools and offices impacted by the positive results in the past week include Belleview High School, Dunnellon Middle School, Emerald Shores Elementary School, Fort King Middle School, Marion Technical College, Marion Technical Institute, North Marion Middle School, Ocala Springs Elementary School, Osceola Middle School, Romeo Elementary School, Saddlewood Elementary School, Shady Hill Elementary School, Sunrise Elementary School and Ward-Highlands Elementary School.

Meanwhile, the Lake County School District was reporting 19 new cases among 10 students and nine employees. Another 127 students and 28 employees have been quarantined, the district’s website shows.

Lake County Schools and departments affected by the latest COVID-19 results include:

  • Spring Creek Charter School (one student positive, 24 students quarantined and five staff members quarantined);
  • Sawgrass Bay Elementary School (one positive staff member and two staff members quarantined);
  • Grassy Lake Elementary School (one positive staff member);
  • Mount Dora High School (one positive student and nine students quarantined);
  • Sorrento Elementary School (one positive student, 11 students quarantined and four staff members quarantined);
  • Round Lake Charter School (one student positive and eight students quarantined);
  • Tavares High School (one student positive and eight students quarantined);
  • District Maintenance Department (one staff member positive and three staff members quarantined);
  • Umatilla High School (two students positive, 51 students quarantined and one staff member quarantined);
  • Treadway Elementary School (one student positive and three students quarantined);
  • Umatilla Elementary School (two staff members positive, six students quarantined and four staff members quarantined);
  • District Transportation Department (three staff members positive and three staff members quarantined);
  • Lake Minneola High School (one staff member positive and two staff members quarantined); and
  • Altoona School (one student positive, seven students quarantined and 1 staff member quarantined).

In Sumter County, The Villages Charter School is battling more cases of the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus amid an apparent decision to resume reporting new cases to the Sumter County School District.

The school, which largely educates children of the Developer’s family, Villages employees and those who work in various businesses located in the sprawling retirement community, had stopped reporting positive results to the school district last week amid an outbreak of 11 cases among eight students and three staff members. Those cases, which were reported to the Developer-owned Daily Sun instead of the school district, involved several members of The Villages High School football team and led to the cancellation of games against Leesburg High School and South Sumter High School. They also forced about 80 students into quarantine.

Last week, a Sumter County Schools official said the district stopped receiving the charter school’s numbers for students – the school wasn’t reporting staff numbers since they aren’t district employees – after being informed that they were “doing their own contact tracing and exclusions.” That decision drew the ire of many Villages-News.com readers who commented on the original story after it was published on Saturday, Oct. 10.

On Saturday, the Sumter County School District’s website showed three new cases at the charter school, all of which were reported on Monday, Oct. 12. Those were the only new cases reported in the Sumter district for the week and they bring the charter school’s total number of positive results to 27 since school started in late August. Those account for about 66 percent of the district’s 41 cases among students.

Other Sumter County schools and programs that have reported cases since school started include Wildwood Elementary School, Webster Elementary School, South Sumter Middle School, Lake Panasoffkee Elementary School and the district’s e-learning program.

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