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Florida confirmed 9K new COVID-19 cases among children within 15 days as schools reopen

Florida confirmed almost 9,000 new COVID-19 cases among children within 15 days in August as schools reopen, according to state data released Tuesday.

The Florida Department of Health recorded a total of 48,730 confirmed coronavirus cases among children, according to a report with data through Monday. The data shows an increase of 8,995 confirmed cases since the previous report, which included data from 15 days earlier, on Aug. 9. 

For the 15 days before Aug. 9, the state confirmed 8,585 new COVID-19 cases among children.

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As of Monday, the state has confirmed 17,311 cases among those aged 14 to 17, 8,248 cases among those aged 11 to 13, 12,946 cases among those aged 5 to 10, 7,616 cases among those aged 1 to 4 and 2,609 cases among those less than 1 year old. 

Out of the 8,995 new cases in 15 days, more than 80 percent, or 7,282 cases, were discovered among children aged 5 to 17, the typical ages when children attend school. This aligns closely with the distribution of total cases on Aug. 9, when cases among those aged 5 to 17 amounted to about 78.5 percent of all child cases.

In the 15 days, the number of hospitalizations also rose from 436 to 602, and there was one additional death, bringing the toll to eight child deaths.

The data comes after a different state report published Monday determined that 714 cases from students and employees have been linked to K-12 schools and higher education institutions, according to CBS Miami

Statewide, Florida has recorded a total of 605,502 COVID-19 cases, leading to 10,580 fatalities, according to the state's department of health

Reopening schools became a legal battle after Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran mandated in an emergency order that “brick and mortar schools” hold at least five days of in-person instruction a week or risk losing funding.

On Monday, a Florida judge temporarily halted the emergency order, saying it “essentially ignored” the state’s constitutional requirement for schools to be run safely. 

Schools across the nation are facing a different back-to-school season, with officials determining how much, if any, of schooling should happen in-person this year as the pandemic continues to affect the country and cause deaths.