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Coronavirus in Tampa Bay schools: a weekly update | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


Tampa Bay area schools were closed for Good Friday, giving only a partial picture of the week’s coronavirus case count. But, as in prior weeks, most of the activity centered in the region’s big high schools.

Hillsborough’s Steinbrenner High led the way with 19 cases this past week after reporting 21 the week before, for a total of 156 since the school year began Aug. 31.

Other schools across the area that continue to show problems: Plant High, with a year-to-date total of 151 cases; Newsome High, with 144 cases; and Pasco County’s J.W. Mitchell High, with 128 cases to date.

In Pinellas County, East Lake High has been the busiest campus with 143 cases this school year. Fourteen area high schools have passed the 100 mark.

Below is a county-by-county look at the week:

Hernando County: The district had 21 cases between Saturday, March 27 and Thursday, with no report issued Friday. Most schools had only one or two cases. Explorer K-8 and Fox Chapel Middle School each reported three cases.

Hillsborough County: No school came close the 19 cases at Steinbrenner High.

Mort Elementary, Riverview High and the district offices each had seven cases. Hillsborough and Sickles high schools had six each.

Sickles High players and coaches communicate during their Oct. 30 game against J.W. Mitchell High. Between the start of the school year and April 2, Sickles reported 101 cases of the coronavirus while Mitchell had 128. [ Twitter ]

These schools had five cases each: Burney and Northwest elementary schools; Davidsen Middle; and Alonso, Armwood, Durant, Newsome, Plant City and Sumner high schools.

Brandon, East Bay and Lennard high schools had four cases each, as did Mulrennan Middle.

Pasco County: Few Pasco County schools had more than three cases, with these exceptions: J.W. Mitchell High, with 11; Land O’Lakes High, with six; and Fivay and Wesley Chapel high schools, with four each.

Pinellas County: The first four days of the week brought 68 COVID-19 reports in the district, and quarantines of flag football programs at two high schools — Osceola Fundamental and St. Petersburg.

Joyce Vitraelli, teacher at Paul B. Stephens Exceptional Student Education Center in Clearwater, shares stories of her classroom experiences after being introduced by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference Wednesday at Palm Harbor University High. DeSantis announced his proposal to give $1,000 bonuses to school principals and teachers and congratulated the state for opening school before most of the nation. To date, there have been 102 COVID-19 cases at the Palm Harbor school [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
Joyce Vitraelli, teacher at Paul B. Stephens Exceptional Student Education Center in Clearwater, shares stories of her classroom experiences after being introduced by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference Wednesday at Palm Harbor University High. DeSantis announced his proposal to give $1,000 bonuses to school principals and teachers and congratulated the state for opening school before most of the nation. To date, there have been 102 COVID-19 cases at the Palm Harbor school [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

Most Pinellas schools on the list reported one or two cases. Among the exceptions were Blanton Elementary, with five, and Pinellas Park High, with four. These schools had three cases each: Countryside, East Lake, Osceola Fundamental and Palm Harbor University high schools, and Azalea Middle.

Across the four districts, 410 cases were recorded this past week. The total since schools opened in August stands at 13,214 cases.

Colleges and universities:

Since March 26, the University of South Florida reported that 33 students and five employees across all the school’s campuses have tested positive. Cases listed are those that have been reported to the university and those who test positive at the Student Health Center.

Over the same period, the University of Tampa has reported 31 student and two employee cases. St. Petersburg College reported nine cases across its 13 campuses and Hillsborough Community College reported eight cases across its four campuses. Eckerd College reported three active cases among residential students this week.

Recent reports:

Week ending Feb. 12

Week ending Feb. 19

Week ending Feb. 26

Week ending March 5

Week ending March 12

Week ending March 26

Staff writer Divya Kumar contributed to this report.



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