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Big Bend area schools take proactive approach as local COVID-19 cases rise

Posted at 5:21 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 17:21:51-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Several school districts are taking action after increasing COVID1-9 cases on their campuses.

FAMU DRS is closing its doors for the second time after the Florida A&M University Health Services department told them about two confirmed cases affecting their campus.

As a result, the district closed at 1 p.m. Thursday for all K through 12 students.

They will continue offering remote-only instruction through the end of the month.

The Leon County Health Department says it will notify anyone who has come in contact with the confirmed cases.

"Early this week, we had a spike in some numbers which is kind of reflective of the state in the nation," said Dr. Alan Cox, the assistant superintendent of Leon County Schools.

The district saw its highest single-day numbers Tuesday, with five student cases and five staff cases.

This comes shortly after more than 3,000 students returned to brick and mortar classes from starting school remotely. Cox says they are holding principals accountable for ensuring safe social distancing.

"When you increase your number of students on the campus, you tend to lose some of that social distancing," Cox said. "So the big thing is, we've been really diligent with reminding the principles that if you now have a class that the students cannot get within six feet. Everybody has to wear a mask."

Two of the most recent student cases came from Sabal Palm Elementary, where principal Anicia Robinson says their concern is making them even more cautious.

"We've all been nervous about what's going on, and it just makes us step up our game a little bit more," said Robinson. "Making sure that we're taking the extra steps to make sure the students are safe, the teachers, the faculty members, are safe here at school."

There are no plans at this time to close any Leon County Schools.

No one will be allowed on FAMU DRS campus before November 30, and the school says it will continue to provide breakfast and lunch for students via curbside pickup.

Global Coronavirus Tracker:

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.