Week two of school starts with 613 in quarantine

More than 600 Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) students and staff are in quarantine after just four days of school.

According to ACPS spokesperson Jackie Johnson, three days after the school year started last Tuesday, the Buchholz High School football team lost 34 members to quarantine.

“Some members of the team did not have to quarantine because they were fully vaccinated,” Johnson reported.

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According to the ACPS COVID-19 dashboard, as of Sunday night 535 students and 78 staff are in quarantine going into week two.

Archer Elementary School has the most of the 22 elementary schools in the ACPS district with 15 students and three staff reported as testing positive for COVID-19, followed by Wiles Elementary School with seven students and one staff member positive.

Middle school cases remained the lowest among county schools. Kanapaha Middle School had the most cases with two students and two staff.

By Sunday, the high school COVID-19 cases ranged from Santa Fe High School having two students and two staff cases and Hawthorne and Newberry High schools reporting zero cases.

The district office reported four cases, the Sivia Center had 15 cases and the transportation department reported 10 cases.

Early on during the last school year, football teams were the first to rack up COVID-19 cases and quarantine numbers, but that was without a vaccine available to students 12 and older.

Newberry, Santa Fe, Hawthorne and Trenton ended up canceling games or forfeiting due to outbreaks.

On Tuesday night, the School Board of Alachua County (SBAC) will convene for a regular meeting and determine whether to continue the current face mask policy that goes against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent order banning mandates.

Currently, all students must wear a face covering, unless a physician signs off on an opt-out form that there is a medical or a psychological need for exemption. 

Beginning Monday, ACPS announced that non-essential visitors, including volunteers, will not be permitted inside schools and other district facilities until further notice.

The ACPS is also directing parents and guardians of students who ride a bus to school to check for delays on some routes by visiting a link to daily late bus reports

A higher than average number of school bus driver absences is the reason for many buses running late, the ACPS reports.

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