Orange County high school reopens after COVID-19 shutdown

Olympia High School in Windermere will reopen Monday after being closed for two weeks due to COVID-19 cases.

The school decided to switch to OCPS’s Launch Ed program for all students after six people tested positive for the virus. 156 people had direct contact with those infected, according to the school district.

Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino later said the cases originated outside of school, citing that "through our trace investigation, we have determined that there was a high school birthday party that 13 of the kids from Olympia High School attended,” he said.

Parents like Brooke Benson, who is a Vice President of Olympia High’s PTSA, said that she feels comfortable with her two sons returning, telling FOX 35 that “the classes were small, the kids were spaced, even at lunch. The school worked really, really hard."

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The Orange County School District’s latest COVID dashboard update on September 15 shows Olympia High School now has 10 confirmed cases.

Track COVID-19 cases by school district in Central Florida

The Florida Department of Education (DOH) has requested that COVID-19 cases reported in schools will be tracked locally by each school district.

“I do think they’re a little nervous at the idea that this could happen again," Benson said. “I hope that if your kid wants to throw a large party, that a parent would just say, no we’re not going to have a party right now, we’re just going to put that off for a while," Benson’s sons said. They feel safe going back but worry behavior outside of school could lead to another closure. 

Meanwhile, a second Orange County High School had to shut down because of a COVID-19 outbreak and students will move to virtual learning on Monday. 10 students tested positive and two more tests are pending. The school will remain closed for two weeks.

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