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Coronavirus in Tampa Bay schools: a weekly update

Case counts are way down this week, with slightly more than 500 reported in area districts.
Students arrive at Bay Point Middle in St. Petersburg for the first day of school in August. Cases of COVID-19 in Tampa Bay area public schools are down dramatically from when classes started.
Students arrive at Bay Point Middle in St. Petersburg for the first day of school in August. Cases of COVID-19 in Tampa Bay area public schools are down dramatically from when classes started. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ]
Published Oct. 9

The number of COVID-19 cases in Tampa Bay area schools this past week was one-tenth what it was when the academic year was starting. School districts in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties reported 506 cases in all, an amount in line with a typical week in 2020-21.

The decreases have occurred in Pinellas and Pasco, where masks are voluntary, and in Hillsborough, where until recently the schools required a medical certificate to opt out of face coverings.

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The district totals broke down as follows: 38 in Hernando, 215 in Hillsborough, 110 in Pasco and 143 in Pinellas. No single school reported more than 10 cases, and the 506-case total is a 43 percent decrease over the previous week’s total.

These schools showed the largest numbers for the week: Sanders Memorial Elementary School of Pasco County and Plato Academy in Largo, each with nine; Eisenhower Middle School and Mitchell Elementary, both in Hillsborough, each with seven.

These schools each had six cases: Weeki Wachee High in Hernando, Deer Park Elementary in Hillsborough, and Bexley Elementary in Pasco.

All cases are represented on the map below.

Since school began in August, there have been 1,738 cases in Hernando, 11,102 in Hillsborough, 6,552 in Pasco and 5,879 in Pinellas, for a total of 25,271.