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Monday, November 22, 2021

Marion County schools report COVID-19 cases steady, increase in quarantines

Marion County Public Schools saw COVID-19 cases hold steady during the last week of school (November 6 to November 12), while the number of quarantines increased by over 35%.

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, 13 were students and 3 were employees.

The previous week also saw 16 cases (14 students and 2 employees). Over the past month of school (October 16 to November 12), the number of cases has consistently been under 20, a substantial decrease from the first weeks of the school year when thousands of students and employees were testing positive and quarantining.

Last week, the Florida Department of Health announced that the vaccine is now available for children between the ages of 5 to 11.

Schools reported 195 quarantines by students and employees last week, which is a 36% increase from the week prior (October 30 to November 5). 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 current report shows that at least 14 schools and district departments reported positive cases over the week, including four elementary schools and five high 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.