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COVID-19 in Tampa Bay schools: a weekly update

Fourth in a series. Newsome High sees double-digit numbers.

Schools are continuing to find cases of COVID-19 at higher rates each week, although they have not seen the explosive spread that some had feared.

In a typical day, there are between 20 and 35 confirmed reports in Hillsborough, Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

They are beginning to arrive in bunches, as happened over the past 10 days at Newsome High School in Lithia. In Pasco, Zephyrhills and Wiregrass are showing the most activity.

Here is a rundown of the past week’s reports:

Hernando County: COVID-19 cases are slowing to just a handful in Hernando, with only seven in the past week: One each in adult education, Moton Elementary, Pine Grove Elementary, Powell Middle and Springstead High. Two cases were reported Monday at Nature Coast Technical High School.

Hillsborough County: Again, the biggest numbers are in the FishHawk Ranch area, which is as busy as Plant City was in previous weeks. Newsome High has had 11 cases since schools reopened, all of them since Sept. 13. COVID-19 diagnoses were also confirmed this week at Pinecrest Elementary and Randall Middle, which serve the same community.

Four COVID-19 cases were reported at Steinbrenner High this week.
Four COVID-19 cases were reported at Steinbrenner High this week. [ Times (2009) ]

There was one case each at Bryan, Crestwood, Doby, Egypt Lake, Lanier, Mango, Miles, Nelson, Palm River, Potter, Seffner, Tampa Bay Boulevard, Valrico and Wimauma elementary schools; Maniscalco K-8; Burns and Franklin middle schools; Bloomingdale, Middleton and Sumner high schools; and Winthrop Charter School.

Two cases each were reported at Mort Elementary; Walker Middle; Freedom, Riverview and Strawberry Crest high schools.

Three cases each were at Bridgeprep Academy in Riverview, Reddick Elementary, Sickles High and Spoto High.

There were four cases Steinbrenner High.

Pasco County: There was one case each this week at Double Branch, Pasco, Pine View and Seven Oaks elementary schools; Hudson, Rushe, Weightman, Stewart and Crews Lake middle schools; and Hudson, Sunlake and Zephyrhills high schools.

Two cases each were reported at Veterans Elementary, Pine View Middle, Paul R. Smith Middle, Fivay High and Land O’Lakes High.

There were three cases at West Zephyrhills Elementary,

Pinellas County: There was one case each at Calvin Hunsinger School; Madeira Beach Fundamental, James B. Sanderlin and Northwest Elementary. Single cases also were reported at Bay Point, Carwise, Palm Harbor and Seminole middle schools and at Boca Ciega, Countryside, East Lake, Lakewood, Osceola Fundamental, Palm Harbor University, St. Petersburg Collegiate and Tarpon Springs high schools.

Boca Ciega High in Gulfport sported banners on the first day of school Aug. 24. The school was one 16 Pinellas County campuses that each reported a single case of COVID-19 this week.
Boca Ciega High in Gulfport sported banners on the first day of school Aug. 24. The school was one 16 Pinellas County campuses that each reported a single case of COVID-19 this week. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Two cases each were reported at Pinellas Park High and Westgate Elementary.

There were three confirmed cases at Eisenhower Elementary.

The weekly total, including students and staff, was just slightly higher than last week’s, at 122 cases. To date, school districts have reported 363 cases since the fall semester began.

Colleges and universities:

Over the last week, the University of South Florida reported 90 students across the school’s three campuses have tested positive. Cases listed are those that students, faculty or the health department report to the university.

Over the same period, the University of Tampa reported that 105 students tested positive. Cases reported are those who self-report or are diagnosed at the student health center.

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