536 St. Johns County students quarantined after first week of classes

New schools welcome students in St. Johns County

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The number of St. Johns County students quarantined due to possible exposure to the coronavirus grew by nearly 300% during the first week of classes.

According to a report released Friday, 536 students have been quarantined in the district, up from 135 students on the first day. Gamble Rogers Middle School (35) has the most quarantined students followed by nearby Pedro Menendez High School (31). Patriot Oaks Academy in Northwest St. Johns County has 28 quarantines.

38 of 45 St. Johns County schools have at least one quarantined student.

But as quarantines have skyrocketed, the number of reported coronavirus cases in the district hasn’t increased at nearly the same rate. The district reported a total of 155 cases of COVID-19 in its schools after the first day Monday. As of Friday, there were 207 positive students and 75 students, an 82% increase from Monday.

There are roughly 45,600 students and 5,300 staff in the district.

The district noted that the total number of COVID positive students and total number of quarantined students reported in the Aug. 16 and 17 updates are based on reports from parents and guardians.

The St. Johns County School Board made the controversial decision to make masks optional for students this school year. It also discontinued temperature checks and desk shields, two COVID-19 precautions in place during the last school year.

MORE | St. Johns school board member: ‘We have been handcuffed’ by DeSantis mask order

The quarantine period for students and teachers is seven days from the date of last exposure to the positive individual. Students and teachers can return to school after eight days if no symptoms have developed.

If a negative COVID test result is received five days or later from exposure to the positive individual the student can return immediately if they remain symptom free.

For more information about student quarantine procedures in St. Johns County, visit the district’s website.

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