Hillsborough County Public Schools reports uptick in positive COVID cases since Thanksgiving Day.By Casey Albritton

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Hillsborough County Public School officials say the district is seeing a spike in Coronavirus cases following the Thanksgiving holiday. Now they are asking families to be as careful as possible as we get closer to winter break.

According to the district’s COVID-19 Dashboard, since Thanksgiving Day, there’s been 161 student Coronavirus cases. The district says it wants to avoid another increase in cases, so over the next two weeks, it will be sending out information about what activities are safe and what aren’t. “This is the time to really be more vigilant than ever,” said parent, Elena Krafft. As families make plans for this holiday season, mother, Elena Krafft, says she’s doing everything she can to keep her five year old son safe. “Staying put. We have a lot of things to do in the area, mostly outdoors.” She says she doesn’t feel comfortable getting on a plane or traveling anywhere out of town. “We don’t want to take a risk.  As we know travel is always risky and even more so in a pandemic,” said Krafft.

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Krafft isn’t just worried about her son… she’s had family members who have had COVID-19. “When you see it that close to home, then you realize it’s worth all of sacrifice,” said Kraft.

A sacrifice that could keep families safe. “Wear your mask, don’t gather in large groups if you can,” said Hillsborough County Spokesperson, Erin Maloney. She adds, the district is seeing an uptick in COVID cases. “It’s that mirroring of the community.” So, until winter break starts on December 21, the focus is re-emphasizing safety precautions. “We’re always cautious and we’re always reminding our families to stay safe.”

After surveying families, the district says about 9,500 parents want to send their children back to traditional school in the spring, even more of a reason to be safe this holiday. “We’ve gone nine months already. We’ve been very good about it. It’s that last stretch, I think we can definitely do it,” said Krafft.

The Hillsborough County Emergency Management Agency says if you do gather in large groups for the holiday, try to maintain six feet apart, and stay outdoors. Hillsborough County is also starting a “Spread Love, Not Germs” pledge for residents to take before the holidays.

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