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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Marion County schools report over 730 positive COVID-19 cases; 3,400 quarantine during third week of school

Marion County Public Schools reported over 730 positive COVID-19 cases and 3,400 quarantines during the third week of school.

The new figures were released by the district as part of its weekly COVID-19 report on Monday. 

The report shows that from August 21 through August 27, 627 students and 106 employees across 60 schools and departments have tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, 3,308 students and 96 employees were forced to quarantine after having direct contact with those that tested positive.

During an emergency meeting two weeks ago, Marion County School Board members voted to implement a mask mandate with an opt-out clause for students. That mask mandate went into effect on August 19. 

As of August 27, the report indicates that 8,706 students have filed opt-outs with the district. 

During last week’s meeting, school board members reiterated their support for mitigation measures and stressed the importance of acknowledging the toll that absences, illnesses, and even deaths among teachers and district staff has taken on the county. 

There were nearly 30 elementary schools with COVID-19 positive students throughout the county, including Eighth Street Elementary, Oakcrest Elementary, Belleview Elementary, and Dunnellon Elementary, among others.