(WTXL) — As the Florida Department of Education mandates that public K-12 schools must open in August, thousands of children in Florida are continuing to test positive for COVID-19.
According to the Florida Department of Health's latest data, more than 11,000 children under 18 have tested positive for coronavirus since the pandemic began in March.
Of the 11,515 kids who tested positive, the majority of those cases stem from four Florida counties: Broward, Dade, Palm Beach and Hillsborough.
So far, three children, a 17-year-old boy in Pasco County, a 16-year-old girl in Lee County, and an 11-year-old boy in Miami-Dade County, have died from the virus.
Locally, every Big Bend county, with the exception of Franklin County, has had at least one child test positive for the coronavirus.
Franklin - 0 out of 13 tested
Gadsden - 31 out of 191 tested
Hamilton - 48 out of 86 tested
Jackson - 24 out of 103 tested
Jefferson - 5 out of 32 tested
Lafayette - 2 out of 9 tested
Leon - 82 out of 681 tested
Liberty - 4 out of 14 tested
Madison - 35 out of 129 tested
Suwaneee - 80 out of 191 tested
Taylor - 3 out of 59 tested
Wakulla - 29 out of 113 tested
The CDC says children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults and Gov. DeSantis has said that younger populations are typically asymptomatic or have mild symptoms with a much lower risk for fatality.
However, the CDC says children can still pass the virus onto others who have an increased risk of severe illness and could still face negative health outcomes that may require hospitalization.
Children may also be at risk for contracting a rare but serious inflammatory disorder called Multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C. According to the CDC, MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.
FDOH reported that a total of 13 children had developed MIS-C after having confirmed COVID-19 infections.