440 students quarantined in Florida 2 days after schools start
- Florida has been one of the most affected states by the Delta variant
- 108 students had tested positive in Palm Beach as of Friday
- Reports suggest that COVID cases in US have reached a 6-month high
As many as 440 students have been quarantined in Palm Beach County, Florida due to coronavirus. As of Friday, there were 134 confirmed COVID-19 cases -- 26 among employees and 108 among students -- within the school district, according to its COVID-19 dashboard. These cases have been reported two days after the academic year with in-person classes kicked off, for the first time since March 2020.
The Palm Beach County School District confirmed the quarantine status while talking to ABC News. The district said 6,379 students out of its estimated 167,000 pupils, or about 3.8%, have opted out of wearing masks as of Thursday.
Palm Beach requires facial coverings inside schools and buses for all students, unless their parent opts out of the requirement, as well as staff.
"Getting a late start is a scary thought," Caden Hart, a sophomore at Dwyer High School in quarantine told WBPF. Both her parents tested positive for the coronavirus.
"A part of my brain is definitely like, 'Oh, I don't have to go to school. I can sleep in. But the majority of me is really concerned about being left behind this year," she added.
"What happens when kids start getting COVID again? And they're missing two weeks of school, and they're missing all of these lessons and stuff that they're going to need," Hart asked.
Only reports last week suggested that the Hospitalisation rate and cases of COVID-19 in the United States have reached a six-month high mainly due to the surged spread of the Delta variant. The country's vaccination rates have significantly slowed down since July 2021. The surge of the disease was strongest in Louisiana, Florida and Arkansas.
As per ABC reports, District Superintendent Michael J Burke said that he'll revisit the facial covering requirement every 30 days and adjust accordingly.
"Currently the school does not offer the same level of virtual learning that it did last year, this year students do have the option for virtual school, but it is independent and does not have live instruction," Burke said.
"The governor's got to take responsibility for establishing the ground rules we're operating under. And this ability for families to opt out is leading to more cases, which is ultimately going to send more kids home and deprive them of that traditional classroom experience," Burke said on MSNBC Thursday.