Another student at The Villages Charter School has tested positive for the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus.
The latest case was reported on Friday, Oct. 23 at the school that largely educates children of the Developer’s family, Villages employees and those who work in various businesses in the mega-retirement community. That brings the total number of cases reported among students at the facility since school started at the end of August to 30, which accounts for 62.5 percent of the 48 cases identified among schools in Sumter County.
Earlier this month, the charter school had stopped reporting its COVID-19 cases to the Sumter County School District. A school district official said the reason given for the charter school becoming the only public school in tri-county area that wasn’t reporting COVID-19 results was because staff was “doing their own contact tracing and exclusions.” That decision, which has since been reversed, drew the ire of many Villages-News.com readers who commented on a story that was published on Saturday, Oct. 10.
At the time of the controversial decision, the charter school appeared to be reporting the results only to The Villages Developer-owned Daily Sun. That decision came in the same week that eight students tested positive, several of which involved members of The Villages High School football team and forced the cancellation of games with Leesburg High School and South Sumter High School. The outbreak also forced about 80 students into quarantine.
As of Thursday, 18 other cases have been identified at five other Sumter County schools and in the district’s E-Learning program. Those include Webster Elementary School (3), South Sumter Middle School (3), South Sumter High School (7), Lake Panasoffkee Elementary School (1), Wildwood Elementary School (2) and the E-Learning program (2).