BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Hillsborough County and Sarasota County have both launched “dashboards” revealing how many students and teachers in each school district have tested positive for COVID-19. But leaders of the Palm Beach County School District, which starts in-person learning on September 21st, say there is no plan to do the same.
In fact, Deputy Superintendent Keith Oswald stated at a recent meeting that he believes releasing that information violates HIPAA. That is blatantly incorrect, as HIPAA applies to healthcare providers, not schools.
The dashboards provide a near real-time look at the spread of COVID-19 within schools. Both dashboards separate students and staff members. In addition to providing transparency, the dashboards calm concerned stakeholders who can visualize that 2 student infections in one school may not require the closure of an entire school district.
While the Sarasota County School District is considerably smaller than Palm Beach County, Hillsborough is not. It includes roughly 200,000 students. Palm Beach County educates roughly 180,000 students.
As of early Wednesday morning, September 9, 2020, there is no public plan for a Palm Beach County School District COVID-19 dashboard. It remains unclear how the school district plans to communicate COVID-19 infections to the public.
BocaNewsNow.com will compile and report school infections. Please use our school news reporting center to provide information. Rebekah Jones, the fired lead data analyst for the the State of Florida, has launched a national project reporting COVID in schools. That information is here.
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