Marion County Public Schools continued their trend of declining COVID-19 cases and quarantines this past week.
The weekly COVID-19 report released by the district shows that during the week from Saturday, October 16 to Friday, October 22, there were 14 positive cases reported across the county.
That number is a 66% decrease from the previous week’s total, and is trending further away from the first weeks of school when thousands of students and employees were testing positive and quarantining.
Schools reported 127 quarantines by students and employees last week, which is a slight increase from the week prior (October 9 to October 15). The Florida Department of Education issued an order last month that grants parents discretion in quarantining child students who have been exposed to COVID-19.
In recent weeks, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases reported has significantly declined. As a result, Marion County Public Schools announced this week that face coverings are now optional in all of the county’s public schools.
During the first week of September, over 500 students and employees tested positive. During subsequent weeks in September, that total was nearly cut in half twice, and the total fell below 100 during the first week of October.
Currently, 9,606 students, or around 22%, have opted out of wearing face coverings.
Around 14 departments and schools reported positive cases during the week, including 7 elementary schools.