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COVID-19 in Tampa Bay schools: a weekly update

Pinellas and Pasco students returned this week. Come Monday, students in Hernando and Hillsborough come back to campus.
Hand sanitizer and protective masks for pre-kindergarten students are seen outside Mitchell Elementary in Tampa in June.
Hand sanitizer and protective masks for pre-kindergarten students are seen outside Mitchell Elementary in Tampa in June. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]
Published Aug. 29, 2020

In the first week of in-person school for Pasco and Pinellas students,18 COVID-19 cases were reported in the two school districts. Some were self-reported from before the school year began by people who never came on campus, so no action was taken.

Elsewhere, as many as a half dozen classes were placed on quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The Tampa Bay Times is tracking cases in all four districts in our coverage area. Coverage of Hillsborough and Hernando County cases will begin on Monday, when those districts reopen their schools to students.

Individual patient information is protected by privacy laws. But the districts have pledged to send notices alerting school communities to the cases, and those notices are a matter of public record.

The Times plans to report these numbers periodically.

Here is a summary of reports from the first week:

Pasco: One student case was reported Tuesday at Fivay High.

On Wednesday, there was one student case at Gulf High and one employee case at Lake Myrtle Elementary.

On Friday, there was one student case at Moon Lake Elementary.

Pinellas: Student cases were reported Monday at Pinellas Park Elementary, Shore Acres Elementary and Northeast High. Quarantines were imposed at Northeast and Pinellas Park.

Cases were reported at Carwise Middle School on Monday and Tuesday — an employee Monday and a student Tuesday. The employee self-isolated, so no action was needed. But the student case caused quarantines in seven classes.

A case was reported Tuesday at Clearwater High for a student who was never on campus. A case was reported Tuesday at Pinellas Academy of Math and Science, a charter school; four classes had quarantines.

Four employee cases were reported — two Monday, one Wednesday and one Thursday — at the Walter Pownell Administrative Center in Largo. No quarantine needed.

On Wednesday, six classrooms experienced quarantines because of a case at Osceola Middle School.

There was an employee case Thursday at Fuguitt Elementary and a student case at Bear Creek Elementary requiring a quarantine in one classroom.