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Coronavirus in Tampa Bay schools: a weekly update

Cases continue at a steady pace as teachers begin to get vaccinated.
Connecticut kindergarten school teacher Christina Kibby received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from pharmacist Madeline Acquilano, left, at Hartford Hospital in Hartford on Wednesday. Throughout the week in Florida, there frequent changes in the availability of vaccines for teachers of all ages. At week's end, teachers were being encouraged to make their appointments at both state and federally run sites.
Connecticut kindergarten school teacher Christina Kibby received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from pharmacist Madeline Acquilano, left, at Hartford Hospital in Hartford on Wednesday. Throughout the week in Florida, there frequent changes in the availability of vaccines for teachers of all ages. At week's end, teachers were being encouraged to make their appointments at both state and federally run sites. [ JESSICA HILL | AP ]
Published Mar. 6
Updated Mar. 6

Cases of COVID-19 in Tampa Bay area schools are holding steady at between 500 and 600 a week, with some areas showing more than others, as school employees celebrate the availability of vaccines.

Here is our weekly breakdown, which names only those schools with four or more cases in a week. All cases are recorded on this interactive map, which shows the changes from month to month at each of more than 400 schools.

Hernando County: The district saw 31 cases this week, a slight uptick, although not the kind of numbers reported in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. The highest numbers: Six at Explorer K-8, five at Nature Coast Technical High, and three among support employees.

Hillsborough County: Schools in East Hillsborough and Plant City have been reporting many of the district’s cases for the last two weeks. The school district offices reported 18 staff cases, for a year-to-date total of 198.

Among schools, Dowdell Middle in the Clair Mel neighborhood led the district with 11 cases. That follows the eight cases reported the previous week.

Lennard, Newsome and Plant City high schools, all in east Hillsborough, had eight, seven and seven cases respectively. Six cases were reported at Plant City’s Robinson Elementary, which until this week had 12 for the entire school year.

These schools had five cases each: Hillsborough and Spoto high schools; Mann and Walker middle schools; and Waterset Charter School.

These campuses had four cases each: Bloomingdale, Chamberlain, Durant, Leto and Sickles high schools; Lincoln and Walden Lake elementary schools; and New Springs charter.

Pasco County: For the first time since Thanksgiving, the district reported fewer than 100 cases. The total was 92.

J.W. Mitchell High School continues to be a hot spot, with nine cases this past week and 105 so far this school year.

Members of the Mitchell High marching band drumline practice indoors after school in September. So far this academic year, the New Port Richey school has reported 105 coronavirus cases.
Members of the Mitchell High marching band drumline practice indoors after school in September. So far this academic year, the New Port Richey school has reported 105 coronavirus cases. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

River Ridge Middle School reported seven cases. Six cases each were reported at Pasco’s MySchool Online program, Wiregrass Ranch High and Fox Hollow Elementary.

Bexley and Wiregrass elementary schools had four cases each.

Pinellas County: Coronavirus reports do not appear to have slowed in Pinellas, which reported 185 cases for the first four days of the week.

By far the most were at East Lake High, which reported 15 cases. Next were Largo and Pinellas Park high schools, with nine cases each. Eight cases were reported at Osceola Fundamental High and six at Osceola Middle School.

Lealman Avenue and McMullen-Booth elementary schools each reported five cases.

And these schools had four cases each: Bay Vista Fundamental Elementary, Countryside High, Dunedin High, Oak Grove Middle, Pinellas Park Middle, Safety Harbor Middle, Seminole High and St. Petersburg High.

The district’s Walter Pownall Service Center also reported four cases. The Seminole High School baseball team was quarantined.

The total across the four counties and excluding private and some charter schools, was 537 for the week. To date, the Tampa Bay Times knows of 11,948 student and staff cases.

Colleges and universities:

Since Feb. 26, the University of South Florida reported that 18 students and three employees across the school’s campuses have tested positive. Cases listed are those that have been reported to the university and those who test positive at the Student Health Center.

Over the same time period, the University of Tampa has reported 21 student cases and one employee case. St. Petersburg College reported two cases across its 13 campuses and Hillsborough Community College reported 13 cases across its four campuses.

Eckerd College reported no active cases among residential students this week.

Recent reports:

Week ending Jan. 15

Week ending Jan. 22

Week ending Jan. 29

Week ending Feb. 5

Week ending Feb. 12

Week ending Feb. 19

Week ending Feb. 26

Staff writer Divya Kumar contributed to this report.