On the heels of the news that more than 100 students from Palmetto High School may have been exposed to Covid-19, Sarasota County Schools' new superintendent Dr. Brennan Asplen has announced that the district will open two new testing sites for school staff—and potentially students—who believe they have been exposed to the virus. At a school board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 1, Asplen said that one testing location will be located in north Sarasota County at the Department of Health; the other will be located in Osprey. He added that the plan is to send tests to a Tampa laboratory with the hopes that the district will be able to receive results within 24 to 48 hours.
Currently, Sarasota County Schools requires that students and employees who are exposed to the virus quarantine for 14 days; they cannot return to school or their offices early, even with a negative Covid-19 test. Right now, 24 students and eight employees are self-isolating, Asplen said, and six students and two staff members have tested positive. He added that the district is developing a digital dashboard to track Covid-19 cases within schools. On Thursday, Manatee County Schools announced that it also launched its own tracker.