Florida District Schools Responding To Coronavirus

Florida District Schools Responding To Coronavirus

Aylin Alvarez

The spread of coronavirus has Florida school leaders increasingly skittish. Two people have already died in Florida and have state health officials say 19 other people have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus that is now quickly spreading across the United States and other parts of the world. Fearful their campuses could become incubators for the illness, superintendents, principals and others are taking precautions that range from adding soap dispensers to canceling field trips.

It’s possible that schools could even be shutdown. It has already happened in Sarasota, where one school closed March 1 for a sanitizing cleanse after a student had been exposed. In Washington state, a Seattle area district announced March 4 it would shutter all its schools for up to two weeks as the virus touched a growing number of students and staff. Miami Dade County Public Schools is surveying families about their technology needs in case the district has to close some or all campuses because of the outbreak, a potential emergency that could force students to continue their classwork online at home.

The Broward and Miami Dade districts have asked staff and students who have traveled to high-risk countries including China, South Korea, Italy and Iran to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. Local colleges and universities have also asked students to avoid affected areas during spring break trips and have canceled study abroad programs.