LAND O' LAKES, Fla. — Parents in Pasco County largely are in agreement: After the coronavirus pandemic upended everyone's lives this school year, most want to send their children back to the classroom come fall.
But as the virus' impact on the county and the state of Florida changes with each passing day, some parents might be having second thoughts.
So far, the district said on Facebook, 76 percent of parents opted for a traditional classroom setting this fall over mySchool Online (16 percent) and virtual (8 percent).
Since the results were posted earlier Monday afternoon, a traditional classroom setting now stands at 75 percent -- a tiny shift but likely a reflection of new thinking, schools spokesman Stephen Hegarty said.
Pasco County Schools gave parents until July 1 to make their choice but now are allowing them to pick or change their answer through Wednesday, July 8.
"As we continue to push out more information so that parents can make informed choices, we understand the need for more time to explore the available options," the district said. "We also understand that the circumstances related to COVID-19 have shifted significantly in the past few days, and that the implementation of any return-to-school options may continue to be modified before students and most staff return in August."
A three-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases in Pasco County remained steady albeit with a slight uptick throughout the first couple of weeks in June, according to the Florida Department of Health.
COVID-19 cases began spiking from about mid-June onward, with the highest-recorded daily case count at 302 reported Friday, June 26.
Most of the COVID-19 cases are within the 25-34 age group at 367 cases, with the 15-24 age group close behind at 346 cases.
According to the state's latest county-by-county health report from June 29, a total of 129 people in Pasco County had been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. That's approximately 7 percent of those who tested positive.
The county has had 17 confirmed deaths, accounting for about 1 percent of reported cases.
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