Florida schools set to reopen next month: What happens when someone inside the building gets coronavirus?

Many of us have seen the images: Lines stretching for miles and people waiting for hours to get a COVID-19 test.

So what happens when someone inside a school tests positive and you have a classroom full of kids that may have been exposed?

The Florida Department of Education has mandated that all schools reopen next month.

“We are working with the board and superintendent,” said Dr. Raul Pino, Orange County’s health officer.

Dr. Pino says the Florida Department of Health is planning to help with testing when schools reopen, but he’s not sure what that’s going to look like yet.

“What we have done in other places of work… that’s what the school is… is that in many cases we have closed the place. This could be the classroom or the classroom and two classrooms next to it. [It] all depends on how it’s happening and do a deep-cleaning. Or, it could be depending on the number of cases the entire school,” Dr. Pino said.

He says everyone in close contact with the COVID-positive person would be tested.

Families will not have to do this on their own.

“It can go from sending a nurse to test 20 students in the classroom, and it could be sending a bus with five to 10 nurses to test the entire school,” Dr. Pino said.

During a meeting last week, the Orange County School District gave the public a peek at its reopening plans.

One part of the presentation showed a positive coronavirus case inside the building could lead to a two-to-five-day shutdown.

Students and staff would be shifted to digital learning in the meantime.

Nothing in the plan has been finalized yet.

“We still have some work to do,” Dr. Pino said.

Orange County Public Schools is expected to make decisions about reopening schools during a school board meeting on Tuesday.