The Florida Department of Education has ordered all schools in Florida to be closed through May 1st due to concerns about coronavirus. More information is available on our Coronavirus Information page.

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Hillsborough Schools Closes Farnell Middle School for 48 Hours Out of an Abundance of Caution

March 12, 2020

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications
813-272-4060

Tampa, Fla. – (March 12, 2020) – Superintendent Jeff Eakins and Incoming Superintendent Addison Davis announced today that Farnell Middle School, in Northwest Hillsborough County, will be closed Thursday and Friday, out of an abundance of caution. 

The Florida Department of Health notified our district that a person who regularly comes to our campus had recent direct contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus in another county. The contact was within the last six days. 

This individual has absolutely no symptoms but, as mandated by the health department, this person is now self-isolating and being assessed by the health department. This individual will not be allowed to return to our school until cleared by the health department.

Even though this individual has no symptoms, we have made a decision that we believe is in the best interest of the health and well-being of our students and staff.

Due to privacy concerns, our district will not share any information about the individual.

Our district will take the next 48 hours to conduct a deep-clean, which involves using a thermal cloud process.

The key steps of the deep-clean process are:

  • Turning off the air conditioning for 24 hours so that every particle in the air settles down
  • Using hot thermal fog to pull down anything that crews can’t reach, such as ceilings
  • Wiping down, room by room, all surfaces with CDC-recommended chemicals
  • Waiting 24 hours after the last room is wiped down, with the A/C shut off, before anyone returns to the school

Parents and staff at Farnell Middle School were notified of the school closure by email and phone call early this morning. We will provide further updates to families and staff when more information becomes available.

We thank the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County for their partnership and guidance. We have been in constant contact with the health department and will remain in contact throughout Spring Break, which begins this weekend.

There is currently no evidence that coronavirus is in any of our schools. Our district has implemented several preventative measures for all schools. Our custodial crews are providing extra cleaning and disinfecting for high-traffic areas and surfaces that are frequently touched. We also installed hand sanitizer dispensers on all school buses and at all district-operated schools' main entrances and cafeterias.

Our district will provide updates on our website, HillsboroughSchools.org, where parents, students, staff and the community can find FAQ’s and other important information.

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