ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County Public Schools says after one week of classes, less than 1% of students tested positive for coronavirus and a little over 1% of staff tested positive for COVID.
The school district hopes to keep on curbing cases in classrooms across the county. The district is even making getting a coronavirus test easier and more accessible to students, staff, and their families.
Orange County parent Judi Hayes got the call no parent wants to hear. She told FOX 35, "we got the call from school, 'a child in one of your child's classes has tested positive. Your child was exposed.'"
However, she said she feels better knowing her eighth-grader was wearing an N95 mask to school and is vaccinated.
"It's not that easy to schedule a test these days," Hayes said. "The pharmacies are all booked days in advance, so if you don't know where to go, it's difficult."
Hayes said she was able to get her child tested on Saturday.
In addition, starting Monday, parents and students will be able to get a free COVID test at a different school each day.
List of schools offering free COVID-19 testing:
- Monday: Catalina Elementary at 2448 29th Street, Orlando, FL 32805. Operates between 4 to 8 p.m. Open to OCPS students, parents, and staff.
- Tuesday: Avalon Elementary at 13500 Tanja King Blvd., Orlando, FL 32828. Operates between 4 to 8 p.m. Open to OCPS students, parents, and staff.
- Wednesday: Lakeville Elementary at 2015 Lakeville Road, Apopka, FL 32703. Operates between 4 to 8 p.m. Open to OCPS students, parents, and staff.
- Thursday: Winegard Elementary at 7055 Winegard Road, Orlando, FL 32809. Operates between 4 to 8 p.m. Open to OCPS students, parents, and staff.
- Friday: WestPointe Elementary at 7525 Westpointe Blvd., Orlando, FL 32835. Operates between 4 to 8 p.m. Open to OCPS students, parents, and staff.
- Saturday: Union Park Elementary at 1600 N. Dean Road, Orlando, FL 32825. Operates between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open to community members.
- Sunday: Rosemont Elementary at 4650 Point Look Out Road, Orlando, FL 32808. Operates between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open to community members.
Know before you go:
- No appointment needed
- Weekday events are open to OCPS students, parents, staff
- Saturday & Sunday dates are open to community members
- Parent/guardian consent is required
- No criteria for testing
- No cost
- ID required
According to the Orange County Public Schools COVID dashboard, there are 561 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the district. Officials said 252 are employees, 305 are students and four are visitors. To put that in perspective, there are 206,000 students in the school district, along with 25,000 staff members. The dashboard also says there are 216 active quarantines from the virus.
Hayes said when she got the call from her child's school on Friday she was told to wait to hear from the health department to learn if her son needs to quarantine. But now, she's in limbo as to whether to keep her child home until getting the COVID test results.
She explained, "we don't know yet whether he tested positive, but my inclination would be [to] keep him at home, but I know not every parent is going to do that.".
If a student is considered to be exposed to coronavirus by the county's department of health, they can return to school after a 10-day quarantine.
Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.