Less than a week into the school year, nearly 5,600 students and hundreds of teachers in a single county in the US southeastern state of Florida have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have come into contact with a positive case, local media has reported.
The Hillsborough County School Board, which serves nearly 230,000 students in west central Florida, said in a statement that as of Monday morning, 5,599 students and 316 teachers were either in quarantine or isolation.
"Isolation refers to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 while quarantine refers to those who have had close contact with a positive case," the report said, citing an official district source.
The board was scheduled to hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the outbreak and ways to mitigate further transmission "up to and including mandatory face coverings for all students and staff". Masks are currently mandated for students, but there is an opt-out provision.