Orange County Public Schools report more than 1,100 COVID-19 cases as schools reopen

click to enlarge Orange County Public Schools reopened a day after reporting more than 1000 cases. - Adobe
Orange County Public Schools reopened a day after reporting more than 1000 cases.

Orange County Public Schools reported more than 1,100 COVID-19 cases among faculty, staff and students as schools reopened for their spring semester.

The reported cases for Jan. 3 came to 1,175. Of those cases, 309 were district employees. The remaining 866 cases were among students. The spike in cases comes as the Omicron variant fuels surges throughout the country. Today (Jan. 4) was the first day back for students.

OCPS is doing what it can under current Florida law to mitigate further spread of COVID-19. The district can't require that students wear masks. A drawn-out legal fight with the state and a series of anti-mandate laws passed by the legislature saw to that. However, they are requiring all employees and faculty to mask up. They are encouraging students to do the same.

"Due to recent changes in state law, schools and school districts cannot require students to wear masks however we are strongly encouraging it," they explained in a press release.

The mandate for all adults on OCPS grounds and in vehicles will run through January.

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