As schools begin to reopen in Florida, the state has confirmed that nearly 9,000 children had contracted COVID-19 over a 15-day period in August, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

The report from the agency indicated that of the 8,995 confirmed cases reported through Aug. 24, 80% or 7,282 cases were discovered among children aged 5 to 17. Before the report, the agency had confirmed that 78.5% of positive cases of the virus were shared among children aged 5 to 17.

As of Monday, Florida had reported 17,311 positive cases for those aged 14 to 17 and 8,248 cases for those aged 11 to 13. A total of 12,946 positive cases were confirmed for those aged 5 to 10 and 7,616 cases for those aged 1 to 4. A total of 2,609 cases were reported among children under 1 year old.

In addition to the increase in COVID-19 cases in children, the state saw hospitalizations rise from 436 to 602 among children as well. Overall, there was one child death, bring the total death count to eight children in the state.

The increase in positive cases of the coronavirus among children comes as the Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order that requires schools to hold in-person classes five days a week or risk losing funding, The Hill reported.

The order from Corcoran was temporarily blocked by a Florida judge on Monday.

Florida has reported over 600,000 positive coronavirus cases and over 10,500 COVID-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Masks must be worn in corridors, classrooms regularly ventilated and pupils are required to wash their hands regularly Masks must be worn in corridors, classrooms regularly ventilated and pupils are required to wash their hands regularly Photo: AFP / John MACDOUGALL