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Coronavirus in Tampa Bay schools: a weekly update

Weekly counts continue to rise gradually, with nearly 1,300 cases a quarter into the school year
In this image from a Pinellas County Schools video, a worker cleans a classroom with relatively few wall decorations. Teachers cut down on classroom displays in order not to impede the cleaning process, which was been stepped up during the pandemic. In September, Pinellas schools reported an average of 25 COVID-19 cases a week. The average is 39 cases a week in October.
In this image from a Pinellas County Schools video, a worker cleans a classroom with relatively few wall decorations. Teachers cut down on classroom displays in order not to impede the cleaning process, which was been stepped up during the pandemic. In September, Pinellas schools reported an average of 25 COVID-19 cases a week. The average is 39 cases a week in October. [ Pinellas County Schools ]
Published Oct. 24, 2020
Updated Oct. 24, 2020

With some high schools approaching 30 cases of COVID-19 for the school year, here is what the numbers looked like this week in the four county area.

Hernando County: Cases continue to be relatively rare in Hernando County, and concentrated largely in the high schools. This week saw two cases at Central High and one case each at Springstead High, Nature Coast Technical High, Pine Grove Elementary and Challenger K-8.

Hillsborough County: There were five cases at Bryant Elementary, following four the week before along with two last week at Farnell Middle next-door. Among the week’s 101 Hillsborough cases, there were five at the new Sumner High, four at Plant High and four at New Springs charter school.

These locations had three cases each: Newsome and Steinbrenner High, Randall Middle and the district offices.

These schools had two cases each: Ballast Point, Hammond and Lanier elementary schools; Dowdell, Ferrell and Tomlin middle schools; Plant City and East Bay High; Erwin Technical College; and Rampello and Sulphur Springs K-8 schools.

These elementary schools had one case each: Bing, Claywell, Cleveland, Collins, Cork, Gorrie, Knights, Lowry, McDonald, McKitrick, Mendenhall, Oak Grove, Reddick, Shore, Symmes, Tampa Palms, Temple Terrace, Thompson, B.T. Washington and Witter.

Also with one case each were Adams, Barrington, Burnett, Coleman, Eisenhower, Hill, McLane, Monroe, Mulrennan, Rodgers, Walker and Webb middle schools; Chamberlain, Durant, Leto, Riverview, Robinson, Strawberry Crest and Wharton high schools; and these charter schools: Florida Connections, Lutz Preparatory, Pepin, Trinity, Victory, Waterset, Winthrop and Woodmont.

Pasco County: Four virtual school students were reported ill this week and there were four student cases at Trinity Elementary. There were two cases each at New River, Odessa, Sanders Memorial, Schrader and Seven Oaks elementary schools, and two cases Friday at Pasco High.

These Pasco schools had one case each: Deer Park, Double Branch, Longleaf, Quail Hollow and Sand Pine elementary schools; Charles S. Rushe, Cypress Creek, Pasco, Paul R. Smith, and R. B. Stewart middle schools; Fivay, River Ridge and Wiregrass Ranch high schools; and Pepin Academies.

There was one case at the Pasco school district’s department of transportation.

Pinellas County: Weekly counts are increasing in Pinellas, which was reporting an average of 25 cases each week in September. The average is now 39. In four days this past week, 46 cases were reported in Pinellas.

There were three cases this week at Pinellas Technical College in St. Petersburg and at Seminole High.

These schools had two cases each between Monday and Thursday: Bear Creek, Sexton and Pasadena Fundamental elementary schools; Northeast High; and the Plato Academy charter school in Tarpon Springs. There were two cases at the administrative headquarters in Largo.

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Hollins High School in St. Petersburg reported its third case this year of COVID-19.
Hollins High School in St. Petersburg reported its third case this year of COVID-19. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

These schools had one case each: Azalea, Bauder, Belleair, Brooker Creek, Gulfport, Orange Grove, Ridgecrest, Seminole and Seventy-Fourth Street elementary schools; Clearwater Fundamental, Dunedin, Largo and Oak Grove middle schools; and Clearwater, East Lake, Gibbs, Hollins, Lakewood, Largo, Palm Harbor University, St. Petersburg and Tarpon Springs high schools.

There was one case each at Madeira Beach Fundamental, Jacobson Technical High, Pinellas Academy of Math and Science, and the Plato Academy charter schools in Clearwater, Seminole and St. Petersburg.

Excluding Friday’s Pinellas cases, which will not be released until Monday, there were 189 cases this week.

Across all four districts, the total to date is 1,299. Most are public schools, which provide the information under the state public records laws. Where readers have provided documentation, the Tampa Bay Times has confirmed private school cases as well.

Colleges and universities:

Since Oct. 18, the University of South Florida has reported that 29 students and one employee across the school’s campuses have tested positive for COVID-19. Cases listed are those that students, faculty or the health department report to the university and those who test positive at the Student Health Center. The university updates its dashboard to reflect cases reported on a weekly basis.

Since Oct. 16, the University of Tampa reported that 95 students and one faculty member have tested positive. The school also said that 505 of the 652 cases it has reported from the beginning of the semester have recovered as “symptom free and not contagious.” Cases reported are those who self-report or are diagnosed at the student health center.

Over the same period, St. Petersburg College reported four cases across its 13 campuses and Hillsborough Community College reported seven cases across its four campuses. Eckerd College reported two active and two recovered cases of residential students this week.

Previous reports:

Week ending Aug. 28

Week ending Sept. 4

Week ending Sept. 11

Week ending Sept. 18

Week ending Sept. 25

Week ending Oct. 4

Week ending Oct. 11

Week ending Oct. 18