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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Marion County Public Schools report shows small drop in COVID-19 cases, twice as many quarantines

Marion County Public Schools saw a small drop in COVID-19 cases during the last week of school (October 30 to November 5), though the number of quarantines doubled.

The new COVID-19 report was released Monday and shows that during the last week of school, there were 16 positive cases reported across the county. Of those cases, 14 were students and 2 were employees.

That number is an 11% decrease from the previous week’s total, and continues to trend away from the first weeks of the school year when thousands of students and employees were testing positive and quarantining.

Schools reported 125 quarantines by students and employees last week, which is a 54% increase from the week prior (October 23 to October 29). Back in September, the Florida Department of Education issued an order that grants parents discretion in quarantining child students who have been exposed to COVID-19. 

The number of cases has consistently been under 20 for the past three weeks of school (October 16 to October 22, October 23 to October 29, and October 30 to November 5). That is a stark contrast to the first week of September when over 500 students and employees tested positive.

The current report shows that at least 13 schools and district departments reported positive cases over the week, including eight elementary schools.

Marion County Public Schools announced last month that face coverings are now optional in all of the county’s public schools. As a result, they are no longer tracking the number of students that have opted out of wearing face coverings.