Newly released data in the state of Florida confirms nearly 9,000 new COVID-19 cases among children 15 days within reopening schools. Through Monday, the Florida Department of Health recorded a total of 48,730 confirmed cases.
Since the previous report released on Aug. 9, the data shows an increase of 8,995 confirmed cases. In the 15 days prior to Aug. 9, the state of Florida confirmed 8.585 new COVID-19 cases, The Hill reports.
The health department shared the age breakdown of the children contracting the virus. The state confirmed 17,311 cases among those aged 14 to 17, 8,248 cases among those aged 11 to 13, 12,946 cases among those aged 5 to 10, 7,616 cases among those aged 1 to 4 and 2,609 cases among those less than 1 year old.
In addition to an increase in confirmed cases, the state reports an increase in the number of hospitalizations. The number rose from 436 to 602 in the past 15 days.
A report published earlier this week states that more than 700 coronavirus cases in the past two weeks have been linked to K-12 schools and higher-education students.
Overall, the state of Florida recorded a total of 605,502 COVID-19 cases, leading to 10,580 fatalities.
The Debate on Reopening Florida Schools Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Given the pandemic, reopening schools became a major issue in the state. However, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran threatened to pull funding for schools that didn’t reopen. In an emergency order, Corcoran mandated that “brick and mortar schools” hold in-person classes at least five days a week.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shares Corcoran’s views on the reopening. Together they said that children are at an “extremely, extremely low” risk of getting sick from the virus, CBS Miami reports.
Despite Corcoran’s order, a Florida judge temporarily halted the emergency order on Monday. According to the judge, the order “essentially ignored” the state’s constitutional requirement to safely operate the school system.
[H/T The Hill]