LAND O' LAKES, Fla. - A surge in COVID-19 cases in Pasco County schools could force the district to limit or pause some sports and extracurricular activities, superintendent Kurt Browning said this week.
The superintendent put out a recorded message to families urging them to take the virus seriously when students aren't in school.
"Our community and our schools are seeing worrisome increases in COVID-19 cases. Many of these cases could have been avoided. We need to be prepared to action in case that trend continues," Browning said.
That action could include "curtailing or eliminating such activities [such as musical and theatrical performances and sporting events] to protect the health and safety of our students and staff," according to the superintendent.
Since November 3, there have been 101 cases reported across the district. Excluding the weekend, that's an average of 18 cases a day. That's also resulted in nearly 1,400 students and staff needing to be quarantined.
Pasco schools spokesperson Steve Hegarty reiterated Tuesday something Browning said in the message: Most of the cases coming into schools are the result of students not following COVID-19 safety measures off campus.
"We just want to reiterate the common-sense approach that we're taking because, I don't know about you, but I'm tired of it. I want things to get back to normal as much as possible. I think that a lot of people are doing some things now that they wouldn't have done months ago thinking that maybe things are opening up a bit," Hegarty said. "Right now we're just concerned about where the numbers are going and so we're asking people to get back to being vigilant."
Hegarty said the district is concerned it'll face another major spike in cases associated with the holidays, so it's important to get things under control now.