2 Coffee County schools closed after cases of COVID-19 confirmed, staff quarantined


MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WKRN) — Coffee County Schools announced on Tuesday the closure of Coffee County Middle School and North Coffee Elementary through August 7.

A release from the Coffee County school district confirms active cases of COVID-19 but adds that they are not aware of a spread.

A grandparent to a Coffee County Middle School student told News 2 Wednesday that they received an email notifying them that her grandson had potentially been exposed to COVID-19 at registration on Monday.

“My grandson goes to Coffee County middle school and they found out that one of the kids that went there on Monday had COVID-19, so they decided to close down the school for a week,” said Sandra Riley, “We’ve had him tested, we’re waiting for the test to come back. We should have the results tomorrow or the next day, and if he’s got it then the whole family has to be quarantined.”

The statement from Coffee County reads:

“This press release is to provide a little more information about the closures of Coffee County Middle School and North Coffee Elementary.  The decision to close these two schools was made because Coffee County Schools did not want to bring students into an area in which we could not guarantee minimum risk of exposure to COVID-19.  The closure will allow test results to be finalized, extra disinfection to occur, and staffing decisions to be made.  No school will be opened in which there is concern that we cannot protect our students.

The most significant difficulty in both situations is not the active cases that have been identified.  The challenge is the fact that several other staff members have been identified as potentially exposed and must quarantine for two weeks.  The district is making adjustments in staffing assignments in order to provide an appropriate learning environment for all students.

Please understand that the school district has not identified any type of significant spread of COVID-19 in the schools and our staff are hard at work in all buildings in the district.  As stated previously, the closures are a result of an abundance of caution to protect our students.  Further information on how each school will reopen will be available later this week.  This decision will be determined by the preparations that are currently being performed as well as the change in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Coffee County.”

Charles Lawson, Coffee County Schools Director

Parents will be contacted directly if there is any reason for concern with an individual student.

School staff is preparing for the distribution of learning materials to students on Thursday and Friday so the curriculum can be started as planned.

The middle school and North Coffee Elementary are expected to release information by noon on Wednesday, August 5, concerning when materials can be retrieved at the school.

All other Coffee County Schools should be in session under normal operating hours. The release goes on to state more information will be available by Friday, August 7, as the district continues to monitor the situation, apologizing for the late notice of closure.

News 2 digs deeper into how schools are moving forward safely for the new academic year. See how other districts around Middle Tennessee are handling everything from classroom concerns to the future of sports in our special series. Click here to see more.

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