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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."

Go deeper: Coronavirus case surges force school closures

Go deeper

Oct 23, 2021 - Health

Benefits of COVID vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says

A nurse gives a girl a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Lyman High School in Longwood on the day before classes begin for the 2021-22 school year. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Food and Drug Administration regulators said Friday that the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children far outweigh the risks for children ages 5 to 11.

Why it matters: The announcement could add momentum to the FDA's authorization of doses for children on an emergency basis, which could happen as early as next week, according to the New York Times.

20 hours ago - Axios on HBO

Rand Paul claims vindication in battle with Anthony Fauci

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Mike Allen in an interview for "Axios on HBO" that President Biden should fire Anthony Fauci "just for lack of judgment, if nothing else."

The big picture: Paul claims vindication in his dispute with Fauci, played out at heated Senate hearings, over the level of risk of U.S.-funded research in Wuhan, where COVID began.

1 hour ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.