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The Villages

Villages High School student tests positive for COVID-19 virus

A student at The Villages High School has tested positive for the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus.

The positive result reported Thursday at the school marks the first among students or staff members in the Sumter County School system since schools opened this past Monday, according to Assistant Superintendent Deborah Moffitt. She added that she didn’t have any other information available about the positive result at the charter high school.

“We report all possible cases to the Department of Health and they determine if isolation needs to occur and the duration of that isolation,” she said. “Employees have been informed on the procedures if they become exposed or ill. Staff has been trained on how to handle students that become ill at school.”

Moffitt said face coverings and daily temperature checks are required for all staff and students on a daily basis.

“Our school nurses are also trained to administer a PCR test onsite to ill staff or students with parent permission,” she said, adding that the school district’s website, https://www.sumter.k12.fl.us/, soon will include information about positive COVID-19 cases reported in Sumter County schools.

The case at The Villages High School follows a positive result that was reported Wednesday at Fruitland Park Elementary School. In that incident, a student tested positive and parents and staff members were informed of the result. The student and two others who had direct contact were advised to quarantine per guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Lake County Schools Communication Director Sherri Owens.

So far this week, Owen said, there have been three positive results among Lake County students – the other two were at Tavares High School – with 22 students quarantined. She said five employees also have tested positive and a total of 13 are quarantined. Those employees work at Leesburg Elementary, Lost Lake Elementary, Lake Technical College and Mount Dora High School, Owens said.

A Florida Department of Health reported released Thursday showed that 11.5 percent of children tested in the tri-county area are suffering from COVID-19. Those statistics also show that 1,156 children under the age of 18 in the local area have tested positive for the potentially deadly virus, which represents about 7.1 percent of the overall number of cases – 16,228 – reported in the tri-county area.

As of Thursday, 558 minors in Marion County were being reported as positive for COVID-19, along with 512 from Lake County and 86 from Sumter County. A total of 10,057 juveniles have been tested in the local area – 4,136 in Marion County, 5,309 in Lake County and 612 in Sumter County.

Across Florida, there have been 48,928 positive results among the 326,368 minors who have been tested. That amounts to a positivity rate of 15 percent across the state, which is higher than the 11.5 percent rate in the local area.

There have been eight deaths among minors in Florida – two in the 5-10 age group, two in the 11-13 age group and four in the 14-17 age group. Also, 611 children have being hospitalized with the virus, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The breakdown by age of those minors reported with COVID-19 across Florida is:

  • Under 1 years old – 2,604 cases (5 percent);
  • 1-4 years old – 7,644 cases (16 percent);
  • 5-10 years old – 13,018 cases (27 percent);
  • 11-13 years old – 8,281 cases (17 percent); and
  • 14-17 years old – 17,381 cases (36 percent).

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