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Many teachers and families feared a spike in COVID-19 cases when Florida made the controversial push to reopen schools in August with in-person instruction.

But a USA TODAY analysis shows the state’s positive case count among kids aged 5 to 17 declined through late September after a peak in July. Among the counties seeing surges in overall cases, it’s college-age adults – not school children – driving the trend, the analysis found.

The early results in Florida show the success of rigorous mask-wearing, social distancing, isolating contacts, and quick contact tracing when necessary, said health experts.

“Many of the schools that have been able to successfully open have also been implementing control measures that are an important part of managing spread in these schools,” said Dr. Nathaniel Beers, who serves on the American Academy