While the school mask mandate debate continues, along with the legal battles over them, something’s become quite clear in the early weeks of the new school year in South Florida. It’s the school district’s staff that are far more likely to bring COVID-19 to the classroom. Each of South Florida’s school districts has had a far higher rate of COVID-19 infection among employees as compared to students.
As part of my analysis, I took the current data available on each school district’s COVID-19 dashboards along with the current student and staff populations to produce the results.
- 33,000 employees – 279 infections 0.8%
- 271,000 students – 637 infections 0.2%
- Miami Dade
- 54,861 employees – 188 infections 0.3%
- 350,000 students – 211 infections 0.06%
- Palm Beach County
- 22,426 employees – 535 infections 2.4%
- 176,724 students – 3558 infections 2.0%
This means employees in Broward have been four times more likely to have tested positive for COVID-19 as compared to students. In Miami-Dade, five times more likely, and in Palm Beach County employees have been 20% more likely to test positive for COVID-19. With school districts so intent on mandating masks for students that they’re suing the state to do it, perhaps they’d be better served focusing on their own employees who've clearly been far more inclined to bring the virus to school with them.