Marion County Public Schools saw a slight increase in COVID-19 cases and a significant drop in quarantines this past week.
The weekly COVID-19 report released by the district shows that during the week from Saturday, October 23 to Friday, October 29, there were 18 positive cases reported across the county.
That number is a slight increase from the previous week’s total, though the number of cases has drastically reduced since the first weeks of school that saw thousands of students and employees testing positive and quarantining.
Schools reported 57 quarantines by students and employees last week, which is a 55% decrease from the week prior (October 16 to October 22). The Florida Department of Education issued an order in September that grants parents discretion in quarantining child students who have been exposed to COVID-19.
During the first week of September, over 500 students and employees tested positive. By the first week of October, that total fell below 100, then dropped to below 50 by mid-October.
Currently, 9,616 students, or around 23%, have opted out of wearing face coverings. Due to a declining number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, Marion County Public Schools announced a week ago that face coverings are now optional in all of the county’s public schools.
Around 16 departments and schools reported positive cases during the week, including 7 elementary schools.