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School district warns of bus delays, other operational issues from positive COVID-19 tests

Alachua County Public Schools sent out the following email to families today:

As expected, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in our schools is rising rapidly. So far today we’ve had reports of 50 students and 18 employees testing positive. It’s likely this is an undercount due to the lack of tests available in Florida.

To put these numbers in context, we had just five student cases and no employee cases the entire week before Winter Break.

We expect this trend to continue over the next few weeks. You can review case numbers on the district’s COVID-19 dashboard at www.sbac.edu/dashboard.

With more cases, we will also have more staff absences, which may unfortunately affect our operations. For example, it’s likely there will be more bus delays. Our transportation department will notify families through email, phone messages, and texts if their child’s bus will be late. A full list of late buses can be found on the district’s website at www.sbac.edu/latebus.

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We also expect more absences among teachers and other school staff during this current COVID-19 surge.

As a precaution, magnet program open houses scheduled for this month will now be held online. Those scheduled for this week will be delayed until February. A revised calendar and links to the open houses will be posted here by Friday, Jan. 7.

The Alachua County Health Department is offering vaccinations at all elementary and middle schools this month. Students can get first, second, or booster doses, depending on their needs and eligibility. To have your child vaccinated, please fill out a consent form and submit it to your child’s school before the clinic date. Consent forms and the clinic schedule are available at www.sbac.edu/vaccines.

We appreciate your patience as our school and district administrators and all staff members do their very best to serve your children during this challenging time.

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