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COVID numbers continue to climb day by day, week by week, but the St. Johns County School District says it has received no direction from the Florida Department of Health to change its pandemic protocols.
On Tuesday, the district reported 551 COVID-positive students and another 124 in quarantine. That’s up from 515 positives and 161 quarantined on January 14; 467 positive and 151 quarantined on January 13; 426 positive and 155 quarantined on January 12; and 329 positive and 121 quarantined on January 11.
There are a total of 5,298 employees and 45,643 students throughout the district.
The highest concentration of positives and quarantines was seen in schools in northern St. Johns County, including Creekside High School, Bartram Trail High School, Patriot Oaks Academy, Freedom Crossing Academy, PV Rawlings Elementary School and Swiss Point Middle School.
The number of cases has risen steadily in the district since students returned from winter vacation Jan. 6, following a similar increase in the county’s population as a whole, according to the daily COVID-19 dashboard of the district. Flagler Hospital.
As of June 2021, St. Johns County school officials have ended mandatory masking for students and staff, also removing desk screens and mandating remote learning rather than in-person instruction.
Kyle Dresback, director of student support services for the district, told The Record on Wednesday that there are currently no plans to change any of those protocols, and that if staffing becomes an issue, schools will consider changing any of those protocols. switch to online-only education.
“Even then, it would probably be closing one classroom or another if we didn’t have the staff to support it (in-class instruction),” Dresback said.
The number of staff (teaching and non-teaching) absent from school as of Tuesday was 162 positive for COVID and 22 in quarantine.
The DOH also hasn’t informed the school district of any new protocols it may need to guard against COVID, but that could change if the number of cases increases, according to Dresback.
“The state [administration] pretty much said he wanted to keep schools open as much as possible,” Dresback added.
Dresback added that students who are at home and able to focus on schoolwork can follow their peers through the Schoolology online tool or through elementary-level packets.
This article originally appeared on St. Augustine Record: COVID numbers rise in St. Johns County, schools maintain policies