Okaloosa County School District suffers its worst week yet for transmission of COVID-19

Tom McLaughlin
Northwest Florida Daily News

Week six of the Okaloosa County school year was the worst thus far for transmission of COVID-19 among students and staff, Health Department Director Dr. Karen Chapman said in her weekly report to county officials. 

"Week six of school saw the most students (45) and staff (18) cases of COVID-19 since school started," Chapman said. "These 63 cases resulted in 705 students and 38 teachers being placed in quarantine." 

Friday night high school football games also have been canceled this week because of COVID-19 cases and quarantines. The game between Fort Walton Beach and Pace as well as the Navarre-Niceville game were canceled.

Since school started, 1,644 students and 84 staff members have been placed in quarantine, with some children forced to miss days more than once, the report said.

Crestview High School welcomes students back to school in August.

More:PHOTOS: School in the age of COVID-19

"We have also documented school-based transmission of COVID-19 from 11 cases to 12 of their contacts," Chapman reported.

She said those contacts who did develop symptoms did so between two and 11 days after the contact, and symptoms were mild for most.

Chapman also said the county is beginning to see higher numbers of "influenza-like-illness cases" being reported by emergency care facilities. She said these cases are "elevating my concern that our hospitals are in for a potentially rough fall/winter if both SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses circulate freely this fall and winter. "

Okaloosa Health Department Director Dr. Karen Chapman

She urged everyone to get vaccinated for the flu by the end of the month.

For the second straight day, Okaloosa County, which had been averaging just more than 30 positive cases of COVID-19 reported per day, saw a higher number, 61. Allison McDaniel, spokesman for the county Health Department, said the numbers are attributable to "a large download from one laboratory."


Total COVID-19 cases from the Oct. 16 report from FDOH:

Florida cases: 748,437, +3,449

Florida resident deaths: 15,830, +94

Non-resident deaths: 200, +4


Okaloosa: 5,706, +61

Santa Rosa: 5,667, +28

Walton: 2,182, +18

Bay: 6,408, +14 

Washington: 1,151, +17

Holmes: 818, +6

Gulf: 920, +3

Franklin: 687, +11


Okaloosa: 127

Santa Rosa: 85, +1

Walton: 29

Bay: 125 

Washington: 24

Holmes: 10

Gulf: 15

Franklin: 4


Santa Rosa County

Milton: 2,918

Gulf Breeze: 816

Navarre: 721

Pace: 488

Jay: 159

Pensacola Beach: 15

Bagdad: 12

Missing: 488

Okaloosa County

Fort Walton Beach: 1,846

Crestview: 1,130

Niceville: 709

Destin: 708

Mary Esther: 272

Shalimar: 265

Baker: 115

Eglin Air Force Base: 81

Valparaiso: 63

Laurel Hill: 54

Holt: 41

Cinco Bayou: 35

Hurlburt Field: 11

Missing: 323

Walton County

Santa Rosa Beach: 667

DeFuniak Springs: 629

Freeport: 254

Miramar Beach: 187

Inlet Beach: 55

Destin: 31

Paxton: 12

Missing: 97