Collier County’s school district released COVID-19 case data Friday evening via a new dashboard, a reversal of the district’s stance to not share that information publicly.
Twenty-seven students and nine employees in Collier schools have tested positive for coronavirus since school started on Aug. 31, according to the dashboard results as of about 5 p.m. Monday.
The 36 cases, plus all future cases, are broken down by school, date and whether it was a student or employee who tested positive. They are not named.
Barron Collier High School reported one student case every day from Tuesday through Friday last week. The school’s five positive cases since Aug. 31 are the highest number of student cases in the district.
Lake Trafford Elementary has the largest number of combined student and employee cases with seven positive cases, according to the dashboard.
In Lee County: First Lee schools classroom quarantined for COVID-19
More: Tracking confirmed cases at SWFL schools and colleges
Collier schools will update the page with confirmed cases Monday through Friday by 7 p.m. A zero in the dashboard indicates no case for that date and school.
More than 24,000 students returned to Collier’s brick-and-mortar schools in late August with the remaining 17,000 students opting for virtual learning options.
Official enrollment numbers will not be available to the public until Sept. 29, according to the district.
It was the district’s decision to release case information to the public, Chad Oliver, a spokesman for the district, wrote in an email.
The district spent “considerable time” developing the dashboard, Oliver wrote.
The data tracker, which is available through the Collier County’s schools website, does not include information about students or employees who have had to quarantine or isolate because of close proximity to reported cases.
“CCPS works collaboratively with the Florida Department of Health-Collier regarding notifications to parents of students or individuals on campuses or in school activities determined to be close contacts and does so on a case-by-case basis,” Oliver wrote.
By Monday morning, the dashboard linked on the district’s website was down due to a districtwide outage that also stalled virtual learning.
Canvas, the district’s learning management system, Cisco WebEx for virtual classrooms, district phones and the internet on district computers were also impacted by the storm-related outage.
The network was restored by late morning. The dashboard is back up and will remain online, according to the district.
District officials had previously cited privacy laws when justifying not disclosing the data.
Collier health spokeswoman Kristine Hollingsworth previously stated in an email that case information is only shared with those at immediate risk, but policies could change depending on statewide guidance and local needs.
Did you know?: Hospitalizations for COVID-19 declining in SWFL, mirrors the state
In Collier’s first publicly known incident, 12 students and a faculty member at Gulf Coast Charter Academy South were sent home to quarantine due to a COVID-19 case.
The data tracker does not include information on charter schools but does tally cases at alternative schools and technical colleges in the district.
More than a dozen school districts across the state, including Collier County and Lee County, launched similar data tracking sites to share information publicly.
Total cases as of 5 p.m. Monday Sept. 14:
5 — Barron Collier High School
1 — Oakridge Middle School
1 — Manatee Middle School
2 — Immokalee Middle School
1 — Cypress Palm Middle School
4 — Lake Trafford Elementary
1 — Lake Park Elementary
2 — Osceola Elementary
1 — Golden Gate Elementary
3 — Calusa Park Elementary
2 — Immokalee High School
1 — Alternative school – Immokalee
1 — Highlands Elementary
1 — Gulf Coast High School
1 — Palmetto Ridge High School
1 — Sea Gate Elementary
1 — Naples Park Elementary
2 — Manatee Elementary
3 — Lake Trafford Elementary
1 — Highlands Elementary
1 — Immokalee High School
Rachel Fradette is an education reporter for the Naples Daily News. Follow her on Twitter: @Rachel_Fradette, email her at [email protected]
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By the way: Network outage at Collier schools halted virtual learning, email access
And: A Gulf Coast Charter Academy South classroom is in quarantine