Despite COVID-19 cases at many Bay Area schools, parents are optimistic about in-person learning

Several parents in the Bay Area who chose to send their kids back to school are feeling optimistic after seeing the early COVID-19 case numbers in schools.

The Hillsborough County School District was the last one in the region to reopen schools for in-person learning on Aug. 31. In the first five days, there have been 29 COVID-19 cases among students and teachers.

Superintendent Addison Davis said he considers those numbers a success when compared to other districts with a smaller population.

"We had a lot of doubts about if we could open schools in an effective and efficient manner. We did that this week. We proved to make certain that we created a safe environment for every one of our learners and the working conditions of our adults," said Davis. "We're continuing to monitor this. Our rapid response team is doing a really nice job transitioning into our schools."

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Davis said he expects the impact on each school to be minimal because there likely have been fewer cases inside schools that what is being reported on the district's COVID-19 dashboard.

"This week we had 29 cases. We have a number of employees and a number of students that never even come to our schools this week. So we are adding that number to our data dashboard just for total transparency to that particular community," he said.

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Most districts reopened schools between Aug. 17-24. In that time, Manatee County schools have had 38 cases of COVID-19. Citrus and Pasco Counties had 24 cases of COVID-19. There have been 34 cases in Pinellas County and Polk County has had more than 50 cases so far.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know


Map of known COVID-19 cases:

MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map