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Coronavirus in Tampa Bay schools: a weekly update

Four schools have passed the 100-case mark, with close to 9.000 across the region thus far.
Last year's seniors at Sunlake High in Pasco County cleared out their lockers, returned textbooks and school issued laptops on May 26. This week, the school crossed the threshold of more than 100 reported COVID-19 cases since the start of the current school year.
Last year's seniors at Sunlake High in Pasco County cleared out their lockers, returned textbooks and school issued laptops on May 26. This week, the school crossed the threshold of more than 100 reported COVID-19 cases since the start of the current school year. [ JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times ]
Published Jan. 30

The numbers are piling up in some area schools. Hillsborough County’s Plant, Steinbrenner and Newsome high schools have each recorded more than 100 cases of COVID-19 this school year. Sunlake High in Pasco, which had a lot of illness in November, marked its 100th case on Friday.

Here is how things looked across the region in the last week of January:

Hernando County: Of 31 reported cases, eight were at Explorer K-8 in Spring Hill. The week saw four cases at Hernando High, three at West Hernando Middle School and two each at Central High, Challenger K-8, D.S. Parrott Middle and Weeki Wachee High.

Hillsborourgh County: Many of Hillsborough’s 335 cases were concentrated in four schools: Durant High, Newsome High, Tampa Bay Technical High and Temple Terrace Elementary, each with 11.

Gaither High in northern Hillsborough County reported seven cases of coronavirus in one day.
Gaither High in northern Hillsborough County reported seven cases of coronavirus in one day. [ Times (1997) ]

Muller Elementary had nine cases. Burnett Middle School, Corr Elementary and Gaither High had seven cases each. Valrico Elementary had six. Pizzo K-8, RCMA and Plant High School each had five.

Pasco County: The school district recorded 153 cases, with the largest groupings as follows:

There were 10 cases at Sunlake High, eight each at Odessa Elementary and in mySchool Online, and seven at Land O’Lakes High.

Pasco High, River Ridge High and River Ridge Middle each had six cases.

These schools had five cases each: Bexley Elementary, Centennial Elementary, Centennial Middle, Cypress Creek High and J. W. Mitchell High.

Pasco is the only one of the four Tampa Bay districts that posts its quarantine statistics. To date, Pasco coronavirus cases have impacted 18,563 students and 1,511 employees.

Pinellas County: With 246 cases, the district nearly doubled the previous week’s numbers.

Largo High School reported 12 cases and Gibbs High had seven.

These locations had six cases each: East Lake High, High Point Elementary, Shore Acres Elementary, and the Walter Pownell Administrative Center.

These schools had five cases each: Dunedin Highland Middle, James B. Sanderlin K-8, Northeast High, Osceola Middle, Perkins Elementary, Pinellas Park High, Safety Harbor Middle, Seminole High, and Thurgood Marshall Fundamental.

This week’s total for the four counties was 765 cases, not including Pinellas cases from Friday, which will not be reported until Monday. To date, the Tampa Bay Times has logged a grand total of 8,993 cases since students returned to school in late August.

Colleges and universities:

Since Jan. 22, the University of South Florida reported that 27 students and 3 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.

Over the same time period, the University of Tampa has reported 13 student cases and three employee cases. St. Petersburg College reported 16 cases across its 13 campuses and Hillsborough Community College reported 21 cases across its four campuses. Eckerd College reported 12 active cases among residential students this week.

Recent reports:

Week ending Dec. 11

Week ending Dec. 18

Week ending Jan. 9

Week ending Jan. 15

Week ending Jan. 22

Times reporter Divya Kumar contributed to this report.