Hillsborough County School Board, based in Tampa, announced on Monday that as of 7 a.m., at least 5,599 students and 316 employees in Hillsborough County Public Schools are in isolation or quarantine.
The figures mark an increase of about 1,100 students from Aug. 13, when Hillsborough County Public Schools announced that 4,477 were in quarantine or isolation.
The school district oversees more than 200,000 enrollments, spanning more than 200 elementary, middle, and high schools, including in Tampa. It has more than 23,000 employees.
The board said Monday it will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon among its members to “discuss the latest district COVID-19 impact” and “the best way to mitigate against the spread of the virus, up to and including mandatory face coverings for all students and staff.”
The board added that it will allow for one hour of public comment.
Isolation applies to those who have tested positive for COVID-19, while quarantine applies to those who have had a close contact with a positive COVID-19 case. The period of isolation or quarantine is typically two weeks.
The school district doesn’t require students who have been vaccinated to quarantine after they had a close contact with a COVID-19 case, unless they develop symptoms.
Hillsborough County currently requires that students wear masks. Parents have the option to opt-out by filling out a form for their child.
The county voted 52 percent for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election and Democrats won a majority in the county commission.