SARASOTA — The Sarasota County School District has made some significant changes to its COVID-19 dashboard.
The data reported are no longer cumulative. Instead, the numbers reflect the current number of positive students and staff. They’re “excluded” from their school for 10 days and need a negative test result to return.
The district is now also reporting the number of students and staff excluded because of contact with a positive case.
They’re out for 14 days.
Finally, data are now being reported separately for eight of the 12 charter schools in the district, including five of the six in South County, with the others marked “coming.”
As of Tuesday, the district reported three cases of COVID-19 among staff members — one at Venice High — and 18 staff members being excluded.
One is from Cranberry Elementary, two from Venice High.
Eight students were out due to testing positive, including one at Pine View. The 211 students excluded included 11 at Atwater Elementary; one at Cranberry; three at Englewood Elementary; three at Laurel Nokomis School; two at North Port High; seven at Toledo Blade Elementary; and one at Venice Middle.
Of the students excluded countywide, more than half — 116 — were in high school, with 74 at Riverview alone.
SKY Academy Englewood and SKY Academy Venice reported no positive cases among staff or students, nor did Student Leadership Academy.
Both SKY schools had one excluded student, while SLA had seven.
The Venice campus of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota reported two staff and six students had tested positive.
Outgoing School Board Member Eric Robinson said the District has done a good job handling the reopening of schools.
The number of teachers who didn’t come back was only a little higher than the usual number he said, and the number of students who didn’t enroll, expected to be about 2,500, was more like 800 to 1,000, he said.
Concurrent teaching — instructing both in-person and remote students — has posed some problems, however.
Preliminary data from testing shows that some students are behind, he said, and teachers are feeling the strain of dealing with two sets of students simultaneously.
The district is giving staff an unplanned day off in October and November to provide some relief, he said.
The state reported just 810 new cases Monday, the lowest number in months, but Tuesday brought 3,259, the most in 10 days. There were only five new fatalities reported Monday but 106 on Tuesday.
At 5.01%, the positivity rate exceeded 5% for the first time in a week.
Sarasota County had 12 news cases on Monday and 28 on Tuesday. It reported two deaths and a positivity rate of 2.72% Tuesday, nearly identical to Monday’s 2.75%.
Sarasota Memorial Hospital had 18 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 Tuesday, four of whom were in the ICU. Its seven-day positivity rate was 1.1%.
Venice Regional Bayfront Health had nine COVID-19 patients, with one employee and one shared employee quarantined at home.
Neither hospital reported a death Tuesday.