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'There is definite frustration' about potential increase in COVID-19 cases as teacher worries about student's activities over Labor Day weekend

Teachers along the First Coast have voiced their concerns about a potential increase in COVID-19 cases when children fully return to the classroom.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As Duval County Schools begin phasing back in face-to-face instruction, some teachers are fearful about the possible spread of COVID-19 considering where some of their students spent their Labor Day weekend.

"There is definite frustration knowing that a lot of people treated this Labor Day weekend like just any Labor Day weekend," said one DCPS teacher.

He did not want to be identified, but says some of his students and co-workers visited family out-of-state or spent time in local parks and springs where non-socially distant activities are popular.  

"They make their category of necessary risk way too large. I understand that we want to see grandma. I understand that we miss our families that we haven't seen," said the teacher. 

He's concerned bringing more children back into the classroom will result in more COVID-19 cases.  

Dr. Mohammed Reza agrees. 

"Opening up schools across the board to brick and mortar will increase exposure for everybody - teachers, students, other school staff, bus drivers," Reza told First Coast News. 

Florida's Department of Education wants DCPS to fully return to the classroom by Sept. 28, but for at least one teacher, he wants parents to be smart about how their children spend time outside school.

"How long is this going to continue the cycle where we get fed up which causes the numbers to go up again?" the teacher asked.