Keep OCPS Schools Safe

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This petition urges Dr. Raul Pino, Administrator of the Orange County Health Department, the Orange County Public School Board and district leaders (Orlando, FL) to follow CDC guidelines and keep schools closed until the threshold is met to enter into Phase 2 as outlined by the CDC. This includes: 

  • Downward trajectory (or near-zero incidence) of documented cases for at least 14 days after entering Phase 1
  • Downward trajectory (or near-zero incidence) of CLI syndromic cases reported for at least 14 days after entering Phase 1
  • Downward trajectory (or near-zero incidence) of ILI reported for at least 14 days after entering Phase 1
  • Downward trajectory (or near-zero percent positive) of positive tests as a percentage of total tests for 14 days after entering Phase 1 (flat or increasing volume of tests)
  • Jurisdiction inpatient & ICU beds <75% full Staff shortage in last week = no PPE supplies adequate for >4 days
  • Test availability such that the percentage of positive tests is ≤15% for 14 days Median time from test order to result is ≤3 days
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/php/CDC-Activities-Initiatives-for-COVID-19-Response.pdf

When and where it is possible, special needs students will receive one-on-one accommodations at specific sites following proper CDC recommendations. 

Distance learning should be provided by current OCPS teachers with their assigned students until these criteria are met and the district can follow the reopening guidelines set forth by the CDC.


Rationale

  • The CDC has a specific set of guidelines for reopening. Using this, schools should only begin to reopen when Orange County has entered Phase 2 according to the CDC Gating Criteria and Phase-Specific Thresholds. Orange County has not met this threshold.
  • Florida COVID cases have been on a drastic rise over the summer. On June 27th, 9,585 new cases were added, shattering all previous daily records in Florida since the pandemic began.
  • March 17 Governor DeSantis closed schools when there were 6 cases in Orange County. Distance learning instruction began March 30.
    https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/03/17/orange-county-now-up-to-6-coronavirus-cases-mayor-says/
  • March 30 The Department of Education announced that in-person classes won’t resume at Florida schools until at least May 1. The state reports 5,704 cases and 71 deaths.
    https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/03/20/timeline-the-spread-of-coronavirus-in-florida/
  • June 26 The state of Florida saw 8,942 new cases of coronavirus. The Florida Department of Health reports there are 39 new deaths from COVID-19 since Thursday. The state now has a total of 122,960 cases of corona-virus. Health officials report 13,987 people have been hospitalized from COVID-19 in Florida. The DOH reports 3,366 people have died from coronavirus in Florida.
  • July 4 marked a record-breaking day for new cases in the state, with 11,458 reported. The second-highest increase came Friday, July 10, with 11,433 reported.
  • COVID-19 is spreading across Florida faster than anywhere except Arizona. South Florida, the epicenter of the pandemic in the state, surpassed 100,000 cases Friday.

UPDATE

  • July 11, 2020 Two weeks from the start of this petition. Central Florida now has 41,444 cases, up 1,615 from a day earlier. There are 482 new cases in Orange for a total of 16,630
  • July 11, 2020 Florida reported 10,360 new coronavirus cases — the third-highest daily increase — for a total of 254,511 infections, and 95 new fatalities. The death toll is now 4,197. With 104 non-resident deaths included, up three from the day before, the toll is 4,301.
  • July 11, 2020 Orange county hospital beds are at 86% capacity, ICU beds at 76%
  • July 13, 2020 Florida reported 12,624 new coronavirus cases Monday — the second-highest increase after Sunday’s record — for a total of 282,435 and 35 new fatalities to bring the death toll to 4,277.
    Central Florida now has 46,281 cases, up 2,292 from a day earlier.
    There are 936 new cases Orange for 18,937
  • Internal documents from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that fully reopening K-12 schools and universities would be the "highest risk" for the spread of coronavirus, according to a New York Times report Source
  • CDC guidelines for reopening schools. 

    This is an extensive checklist guide for reopening. 
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community/School-Admin-K12-readiness-and-planning-tool.pdf