Escambia County, Fla. schools restricting travel for students, employees

Published 2:53 pm Friday, March 13, 2020

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The Escambia County School District (Fla.) is restricting students and employees traveling within and outside of the district and state in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to officials.

Coronavirus disease is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that cause COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s website.

Superintendent Malcolm Thomas announced Thursday that the district is taking the following measures:

  • Effective immediately, all out-of-state school-related travel for both students and staff members is suspended for the remainder of the school year.
  • All student and staff school-related in-state travel is suspended for the next 30 days, at which time, requests may be re-evaluated to determine feasibility of travel within the state of Florida.
  • All student field trips will be suspended for a period of 30 days, and future requests will be evaluated after that time.
  • Outdoor sporting events will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Events involving teams traveling here from other counties will be canceled if that county has had any incidents of COVID-19. Example: The Aggie Classic has been canceled.
  • Based on current guidelines from the department of health:
  • Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who travels to any foreign country, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return. 
  • Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who goes on a cruise, anywhere, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return. 
  • There should be no mass gatherings, which are defined by the CDC as “1,000-25,000 people, but the practical application is any gathering that would strain local resources.” Local discretion will determine status for events with less than 1,000 people. At this time, ECSD will allow events/ceremonies with less than 1,000 people expected. 
  • If a student/faculty/staff has been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19, and that student/faculty/staff has been in a classroom, DOH recommends that Districts NOT close the school/college/program, but do recommend that the classroom is cleared and take necessary steps to sanitize the room. 
  • Accordingt to school officials, final school/district closure decisions will be made by local school districts.
    “Although the percentage of children contracting the disease is low, with most of those children experiencing minor symptoms, now is the time to prepare within our education communities,” Thomas said. “Concerns about the health and safety of students and staff are paramount for our district and state. Preventative measures to contain the spread of the virus will continue to be a global effort.” 
    And as always, you can learn more about COVID-19 preparations, signs and symptoms, and guidance at

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