COVID-19 Community Update
Important Updates from Hillsborough County Public Schools
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Dear Parents and Guardians,
We want to thank our teachers, administrators, staff, and families for a productive first week of school. Our students have been actively engaged in their course work and have set a strong foundation for the year ahead.
We understand there is immense concern among our families and staff about COVID-19. Just as we are seeing the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the virus is impacting our schools. To date, about 98% of our brick and mortar learners remain in the classroom in front of a high-quality teacher, while over 2% are in isolation due to a positive COVID test result or in quarantine due to exposure to a positive case.
As of this morning, 2.15% of our student population (4,477) are either in isolation due to a positive case or in quarantine due to exposure (Day 3 enrollment = 208,587). This number is inclusive of students who either tested positive or were exposed to a positive case while off campus and have not attended school yet.
We also have 289 staff members at schools and district offices (1.22%) in isolation or quarantine (Employee Count= 23,596)
We encourage all families to talk to their children about utilizing the same health and safety protocols used in schools while enjoying time out in the community with friends and family.
We encourage all of our families to follow guidelines recommended by public health experts:
· Complete a health and wellness check every morning prior to school.
· Please do not send your children to school if they are sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19.
· Please do not send children to school if they are awaiting a COVID test result.
· If a household member tests positive, call your school for guidance.
The district continues to enhance mitigation strategies in all schools by including hand soap and sanitizers throughout campuses, masks for any student or staff who wants one, touchless refillable water stations, and MERV-13 filters.
Protocols for Controlling COVID-19
For parent information about quarantines, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Health created the visual below which includes a COVID-19 student decision tree.
Hillsborough Schools COVID Dashboard
Quarantine Resource Center
COVID-19 Vaccination Opportunities
Public health experts are urging those 12 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end this pandemic. Hillsborough County Public Schools will continue to partner with our local health care providers to offer vaccination clinics.
At this time, the following locations are available to obtain vaccinations:
- Walmart Pharmacy
- Publix Pharmacy
- CVS Pharmacy
- Walgreens Pharmacy
- Winn-Dixie Pharmacy
- Costco Pharmacy
- Sam’s Club Pharmacy
- The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy
- DeliveRxd Pharmacy (at home vaccination) 813-932-6266
For more locations visit: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/vaccine-locator
COVID-19 Testing Sites
The Department of Health-Hillsborough is offering free COVID-19 Testing Sites at two locations.
- Palm River Park Community Center – 727 S. 58th Street, Tampa
- 1101 E. 139th Ave., Tampa
No appointments are needed and health insurance is not required. Visit www.HCFLGov.net/COVIDTesting for more information.
Reopening Plan and Frequently Asked Questions
Executive Orders and State Guidelines
The Governor's Executive Order preserves a parent's right to choose when it comes to whether their child will wear a mask to school and also prohibits school districts from blanket mask mandates. Defying this order would put the district in danger of losing state funds. Read the entire order here.
The Florida Department of Health issued an emergency rule to ensure COVID-19 rules in schools do not violate a parent's rights under Florida law to make health care decisions for their children, including the choice to wear a mask. Read the rule in its entirety here.
Finally, the State Board of Education passed two emergency rules that provide parents the opportunity to move their child to a private school or other school district utilizing the HOPE Scholarship if they feel discriminated against due to a district's COVID-19 protocols. The orders also ensure educational continuity for students and allows students to be marked as present while learning in quarantine. These emergency rules can be found here.
We appreciate your continued patience and flexibility as we navigate this uncertain time. The health and safety of our students and staff remains one of our top priorities.
Hillsborough County Public Schools