Orange County parents frustrated over delayed COVID-19 quarantine tracking in schools

ORANGE COUNTY, FLA. — More than four weeks into the school year, Orange County parents say they’re frustrated to see the number of COVID-19 quarantines on the district’s dashboard are still way off compared to positive cases.

The Orange County Department of Health said it is working to fix delays.

READ: DOE doesn’t back down, threatens Orange County Schools over mask mandate after judge’s ruling

Every day, parent Patty Stallworth checks the district’s COVID-19 dashboard for quarantine numbers at her daughter’s school, Blankner School.

Despite 31 positive cases on Monday and one more on Tuesday, the quarantine number is zero.

“There has never been one single quarantine on the dashboard for Blankner. never one,” Stallworth said.

READ: Mom says schools aren’t doing enough to protect children ineligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Systemwide, the district shows more than 5,700 cases and just over 1,000 quarantines.

In comparison, Seminole County Public Schools has 10,000 quarantines and 2,000 cases.

“Our quarantine numbers are actually below our positive cases, so common sense, it just, that makes no sense to me,” OCPS school board member Angie Gallo said.

READ: Baby among latest COVID-19 deaths reported in Orange County

Stallworth wanted to know if the $32 million the department of health has to expand school testing can be used to improve tracking.

Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino said that’s possible, since the plan is still being developed. He expects tracing efforts to catch up this week.

“We have done some work, we are also in the process of hiring additional staffing from OCPS as contractor for us so that we can continue to do the tracing,” Pino said.

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Parents can only hope.

“It isn’t an easy position to be in, I get it. I just don’t understand how they haven’t gotten a better handle on it at this point,” Stallworth said.

The district said on Tuesday that it appreciates this partnership with the health department and will keep working on its end to get immediate quarantine updates to parents.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.