Coronavirus case totals in area schools continued to increase this week, with even Hernando County, the area’s smallest district, reporting more than a dozen in a single day.
Before the year is out, the total in some of Hillsborough County’s largest high schools could approach 100 cases. To date, the totals are: 80 cases at Plant, 73 at Steinbrenner, and 70 at Newsome.
Here are some highlights across the region as the winter break approaches:
Hernando County: The district reported more cases this past week — 53 — than it used to report in a month.
The largest numbers were at Springstead High, where six of the week’s 12 cases came on Friday.
Nature Coast Technical High had seven cases and Pine Grove Elementary had four. There were three cases each at Central and Hernando high schools, Explorer K-8 and J.D. Floyd Elementary.
Hillsborough County: This week, the district reported 273 cases. As of Friday evening, there have been 1,999 cases since students returned to school on Aug. 31.
All told, there were COVID-19 cases this week in 129 Hillsborough schools, but the highest number came from the school district’s offices, where 16 were reported.
There were nine cases at Farnell Middle School and eight at Newsome High. There were seven each at Leto and Riverview high schools, and six each at Lennard High, Literacy Leadership Middle School, Sickles High and Turner Bartels K-8. Eisenhower Middle and Plant City High had five cases each.
These Hillsborough schools had four cases each: Alonso High, Carrollwood Elementary, Gibsonton Elementary, Hillsborough Academy of Math and Science, Plant High, Plato Academy, Strawberry Crest High and Westchase Elementary.
Pasco County: The district reported 132 cases, down from the previous week. They included seven cases each at Sunlake and Land O’Lakes high schools, and six at Fivay High. They also included 14 cases for mySchool Online and Pasco eSchool combined.
J.W. Mitchell High, Pasco High and Thomas E. Weightman Middle each reported five cases. These high schools each had four cases: Anclote, Cypress Creek, Wesley Chapel and Wiregrass Ranch.
Pinellas County: Eighty-four cases were reported in the first four days of the week, about even with last week’s numbers. At Hollins High, the girls soccer team had to be quarantined after a student case on Monday.
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Pinellas reported four cases each at Boca Ciega High, St. Petersburg High and Sandy Lane Elementary. There were three cases each at East Lake High, Rawlings Elementary, Bardmoor Elementary, Osceola Fundamental High and Campbell Park Elementary.
The total for the four school districts this week was 542 cases. Since students returned to school in late August, the Tampa Bay Times has tracked 4,052 cases. Judging by quarantine statistics from Pasco, which is the only district to be forthcoming with that information, it is estimated that 60,000 students and staff have been affected by the virus, either directly or through quarantine, since the school year began.
Colleges and universities:
Since Dec. 4, the University of South Florida reported that 27 students and 21 employees across the school’s campuses have tested positive. 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.
Since Dec. 4, the University of Tampa reported one student and one employee testing positive. The school also reported 752 of its 822 reported cases 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 four cases across its four campuses. Eckerd College reported no active cases of residential students this week.