73ºF

Clay County issues state of emergency, schools closed through March 30

Clay County schools will reopen on Tuesday, March 31.

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – The morning after the Florida Department of Health confirmed that a 57-year-old man in Clay County has tested positive for coronavirus, the county issued a state of emergency to free up resources for response to the virus, according to interim Clay County School Superintendent David Broskie.

After the Florida Department of Education advised that all public schools in the state should remain closed through at least March 27, Clay County announced that with a teachers’ planning day, Clay County schools will actually reopen on Tuesday, March 31.

All extra-curricular activities, including athletics, are also canceled during this time.

Broskie said the district is waiting for further instruction from the department of education how to make up the five days.. if they even need to be made up.

“We are continually working on our continuity of learning plan next week we will finalize directions for that but we are really missing five days," he said.

Broskie reminded parents that if students should continue engagement with daily independent reading and online learning platforms such as Achieve3000 and iReady. The district is collaborating with the Clay County Education Association to develop extended distance learning opportunities.

To help plan for distance learning opportunities, Broskie asked parents to fill out an online survey.

“I understand that this is an uneasy time for many as this situation develops, but please trust that we are doing everything we can to keep our students, staff, and families safe and healthy,” Borskie said. “This will continue to be an evolving situation, so please stay updated via our website and social media platforms."

News4Jax also spoke with the Director of emergency management John Ward for an update on the patient who tested positive, but he would not give any additional details.

“As far as all those details, unfortunately, that’s under the Department of Health and they are doing the investigative in the contact tracing which is going to see who this person has been in touch with over the past week, week and a half, really run that back," he said. "So due to the (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violations that cannot be presented at this time.”

The Clay County patient, among 51 in Florida who have now tested positive, is isolated and will remain so until cleared by public health officials. It is currently unclear whether this was a travel-related case and the epidemiological investigation is ongoing.

As of Friday, Clay County Emergency Management in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Clay County opened a call center for all questions related to COVID-19. Clay County residents can call 877-252-9362 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the weekend. After hours, you can reach the state call center 24 hours a day at 866-779-6121.