Aug 16, 2021 - Health

Nearly 6,000 students in quarantine or isolation in Florida school district

Illustration of school desks, some of them cut out with nothing behind them.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Nearly 6,000 students and over 300 staff members tested positive or have been exposed to COVID-19 in a Florida school district, officials announced Monday.

Why it matters: The alarming number of people in quarantine or isolation has prompted an emergency board meeting at Hillsborough County Public Schools — the seventh-largest district in the nation.

  • "Isolation refers to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 while quarantine refers to those who have had close contact with a positive case," the statement read.

Context: The district includes parts of Tampa and has more than 200,000 students in more than 200 schools. It is in the fourth-most populous county in Florida, with nearly 1.5 million people.

The big picture: Coronavirus cases are surging across Florida, largely driven by the Delta variant.

What's next: The school board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday at 1pm ET, will address "the best way to mitigate against the spread of the virus, up to and including mandatory face coverings for all students and staff."

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