ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — The video above aired on Tuesday, Jan. 13. The St. Johns County School District numbers fluctuate as they are updated daily at 5 p.m.
As COVID-19 cases are surging across the First Coast, almost 2,000 St. Johns County students are in quarantine, according to district's Wednesday COVID-19 update, having to start the new semester at home.
“When I got the call and it said Liberty Pines, I was like, 'No, no.' I just knew it,” parent Kristy Riley said.
Through contact tracing, the St. John’s County Health department told Kristy her third grader, Connor, was exposed to someone with the COVID-19 virus at Liberty Pines Academy.
When asked what he missed the most, Connor said, "Seeing my teacher, but now we just see her online.”
Connor is one of 95 students and four employees in quarantine at Liberty Pines, according to district records, 14 total students and employees are positive with the virus as of Wednesday.
Two other schools nearby in north St. John’s County, Bartram Trial High School and Creekside High School, along with Liberty Pines are among the schools with the highest number of cases and those in quarantine.
In fact, the three schools account for 30% of 184 St. Johns County students positive with the virus as of Wednesday.
Associate Superintendent of Schools Kyle Dresback said this could be a result of siblings at different schools in the area, or the fact that older students tend to be involved in different activities, inside and outside of school.
Dresback added the numbers fluctuate as they are updated daily.
However, after coming back from the holiday break, Dresback said the St. Johns County School District did see its highest number of cases for both teachers and students on different days last week: 34 and 189, respectively.
Students and employees are quarantined by the health department, Dresback explained, based on length of time exposed and proximity to an infected person.
So, in Connor’s case, his teacher and some students are at home until Jan. 19, but other students are in the classroom with a substitute learning from the teacher online.
The St. Johns County School District's COVID-19 school-by-school report is updated daily by 5 p.m. with current numbers.