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Your Wednesday Coronavirus Update: Enrollment Is Down In Central Florida Schools; More Than 3,000 New Cases; 153 Deaths Reported

Matthew Peddie

Lower school enrollment for start of the school year during pandemic

Joe Byrnes, WMFE

Central Florida districts are seeing a drop in overall enrollment at the start of this school year. The enrollment includes in-person and online instruction.

School officials say concerns and confusion caused by COVID-19 could be to blame.

Ten days in, Orange County’s enrollment is down 15 percent, with more than 30,000 fewer students.

In Marion County, enrollment was off by more than 6,000 on Day 1. Sumter’s was down by 751, also a decrease of about 15 percent.

In Lake County, enrollment was down more than 9,000. But the 5,000 or so in Lake County Virtual School aren't part of that tally.

In Brevard County, 10,000 fewer students started school. But Superintendent Mark Mullins says e-learning numbers have since jumped by more than a thousand.

"At this moment working with staff we're not alarmed with the enrollment," he told the School Board. "Certainly, homeschool increases is concerning. That's a thousand students. But we see parents coming into our schools every day."

Osceola County bucked the trend with a 4 percent increase.

More than 3,000 new cases reported by Florida Department of Health

Matthew Peddie, WMFE

The Florida Department of Health reported 3,327 new coronavirus cases Wednesday. 608,722 positive cases have been reported since the start of the pandemic.

153 new deaths in Florida residents were reported Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 10,733. Some 139 non-residents have died from COVID-19 in Florida.

The daily case count has been declining, with just over 2,000 cases reported Monday and 2,770 on Tuesday. Florida hit a peak of new cases on July 15th when more than 15,000 cases were reported.

Here's a roundup of stories you may have missed:

No Immediate Change To Orange County Schools After Judge Rules Reopening Order Unconstitutional

Amy Green, WMFE

Orange County Public Schools leaders say there won’t be any immediate changes at schools as a lawsuit aimed at keeping schools closed winds through the courts.  Read more here.

Disney World Continues To Reduce Its Operating Hours In November

Danielle Prieur, WMFE

After the attractions lost more than 2 billion dollars in the third quarter, a shortened schedule was announced. It will take effect September 8 and now with this latest announcement run through November. Read more here.
Ruling against schools-opening order arrives late for Lake County: ‘This train has left the station’

Joe Byrnes, WMFE

A Florida judge blocked a state order that forced schools to open physically in August, but his ruling came too late for the Lake County School Board. Read more here.
More Than 1,400 Residents and Landlords Applied for Eviction Diversion Program Tuesday

Danielle Prieur, WMFE

1,461 tenants and landlords started the Orange County Eviction Diversion Program application process in the first few hours. Read more here.