WARREN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Middle Tennessee high school is getting a donation of some technology to help control the spread of the COVID-19. The anti-COVID entry tunnel will be installed at Warren County High School.
Warren County Schools Superintendent Dr. Grant Swallows said Roger Biles grew up in Warren County and runs a medical supply business. Biles contacted the county executive, told him how successful the tunnels have been and that he wanted to donate them just to give back to the community where he grew up.
“Uniquely our county executive was a lifelong educator. He taught at Warren County High School and so and Mr. Biles, even today when talking to us said ‘Mr. Haley was my favorite teacher from kindergarten through my post-collegiate career’ and so they have a relationship,” Dr. Swallows explained.
The tunnels have been used at other facilities, like stadiums, in different parts of the country. When someone walks in, it takes their temperature, has a handwashing station, and there’s a mist to decontaminate that person.
“I vividly remember the week after homecoming last year, everybody thinking, ‘Oh, great, we’ve turned the corner’. Well, unfortunately, in November and December, we saw even higher rates (of COVID),” Dr. Swallows said. “So I don’t want to be an alarmist, I do not want to say that we’re going to go back that direction. But at the same time, I think we’re fairly all on the same page thinking that we’re going to continue to see some spikes and ups and downs.”
Dr. Swallows said WCHS will use their tunnel primarily in athletic facilities.
“Primarily I believe in our weight room initially just to see how that kind of goes because as you can imagine, and locker rooms and athletic facilities there are lots of germs anyway, but certainly during COVID so we’re gonna we’re gonna put hours in there and see and get that all squared away,” Dr. Swallows said. “We really appreciate the Biles family thinking of us and we’re excited about that addition to our system.”
WCS is seeing the downward trend in virus cases that other districts are having in Middle Tennessee. At its peak, the district had about 270 students that tested positive for COVID-19 or were under quarantine for being a close contact this semester. Last week they had 24 positive cases among students and there are two employees with positive cases.
“We’re gonna continue to monitor those things. And, you know, I think when we let our guard down, is when we get ourselves in trouble,” he said. “We’re going to continue to keep some of these measures in place. And we’re just thankful to have another tool in our tool belt to fight against this.”
The jail will be getting a donation of a tunnel as well.