NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The back to school debate of in-person or online learning continues. Just weeks into school starting for many counties in Middle Tennessee, several cases have shut down school classrooms, grades and even entire schools.
“We are temperature checking each student as they come in the building every single day. All of our desks are six-feet apart, and if students get closer than six-feet apart, they have to have a mask on,” Lindsey Judd, president at Ezell-Harding Christian School told News 2.
Ezell-Harding had a parent, who is also a faculty member, test positive over the weekend.
“So we decided out an abundance of caution to quarantine two of our grades where children were involved from that family,” Judd explained.
They closed their second and kindergarten classes to quarantine for two weeks, but confirmed no students have tested positive.
In Rutherford County, Smyrna Elementary had 53 students and 8 teachers who needed to quarantine after showing symptoms or being exposed to the virus, the district said in a press release Tuesday.
Christiana Middle School in Rutherford also shut down, transitioning students to distance-learning online for the rest of the week.
Bedford County Schools also announced several cases Tuesday. While naming only Liberty School and Shelbyville Central High, the release said they’ve had positive students at every school, but no mass outbreaks, so none have shut down.
Following state guidelines, schools must mandate students and staff exposed to potential positive cases to quarantine for 14 days. Contact tracing must be conducted and parents notified immediately.
In Coffee County, two schools shut down after registration day, primarily due to staff having to quarantine. The district had to rearrange teachers in order to staff classrooms.
“Teachers are doing more than they ever have in their career,” Judd explained, “They need our prayers, they need our support.”
East Hickman High and middle school also notified parents last week of a positive case.
Williamson County Schools start school in-person next week.
The positive news here is that News 2 has not heard of any students or staff hospitalized due to exposure at school.
To find current COVID-19 information on a Tennessee school, you may be able to find it in the state’s database here.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )