Students quarantined after 11 positive tests for COVID-19 at Viera Elementary summer camp
BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – An unknown number of children are in quarantine after a COVID-19 outbreak at a summer camp in Viera Elementary, and 11 cases have been confirmed, News 6 partner Florida Today reports.
Brevard Public Schools spokesman Russell Bruhn said the camp had not closed but did not have figures on the number of students quarantined. Bruhn said the district will meet with officials from the Florida Department of Health to discuss plans to further contain the spread of the virus.
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Jabari Hosey, father of two Viera program students, said a child exhibited symptoms on Sunday evening and has since tested positive for the virus. His other child was sent home on Monday with letters from the Florida Department of Health and Brevard Public Schools informing him that a member of his child’s class had tested positive for the virus.
Brevard Public Schools released a COVID-19 dashboard twice a week throughout the school year, but stopped reporting. The Florida Department of Health has also stopped publishing data specific to schools.
Children under 12 are not yet eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Cases of COVID-19 have increased in Florida in recent weeks, a development many experts say could be linked to the more contagious delta variant of the virus that has spread across the country. Its spread has reignited debates over plans to reopen schools, including mask requirements.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines on Monday recommending universal masking in schools for anyone over the age of 2, regardless of their immunization status. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks for anyone without a COVID-19 vaccine in schools.
The Brevard School Board voted to make masks optional after the end of the 2020-2021 school year at a meeting in May. Criticism of mask requirements dominated the public commentary at school board meetings, with conservative parent group Moms for Liberty leading the charge.
Parents against masks have insisted they cause various adverse effects on children’s physical and mental health, while others have argued that masks are safe and necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
Hosey said that while taking his student to take a test, he saw three other students waiting at the site. He believes about 100 students attend the camp.
Hosey said the situation at Viera Elementary worried him because his son was still wearing a mask. Her children have each had a fear of exposure to COVID-19 during the school year, but this is the first time they have tested positive.
“It’s of great concern with the removal of the mask mandate because the summer camp doesn’t have as many staff and students as the fall, and we couldn’t do it safely for two months. “Hosey said.