TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough County Public Schools, the largest Bay area school district, is also leading the area in positive COVID-19 cases. Between August 16-20, the district's dashboard shows 2,153 people who reported being sickened with the coronavirus. Fifty-three of those are students and staff from Sickles High School in Citrus Park.
Last Thursday, Hillsborough school board members enacted a strict 30-day mask mandate in an effort to lower the number of coronavirus cases in the classrooms.
In Pinellas, there's a similar effort underway by some parents and groups who want a mask mandate in schools. Those mask supporters point to the 523 reported cases in Pinellas County Schools this past week.
In Pasco County, there were 333 reported cases last week. There were 248 positive COVID-19 cases in Hernando County.
In Manatee County, on one day August 20th, there were 130 reported cases on the district's website.
Polk County lists "verified" and "unverified" cases. As of last Tuesday, 541 students and staff in Polk were out of school because of COVID-19 symptoms. Even more students and staff had to be quarantined or isolated due to exposure.
Throughout public schools in all Bay area counties, there have been more than 5 thousand positive COVID-19 cases since school started in early August. The numbers do not include private schools.