WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thousands of students have stayed home since school bells began ringing in Wilson County this year, all due to contact tracing and positive COVID-19 tests. District leaders announced updates to their policies after a special called meeting of the Wilson County school board Tuesday.
“I’ve been in this business 28 years and I’ve never seen the stress level, the tension level of educators and administrators and nurses and bus drivers,” said Director of Schools Jeff Luttrell.
He said there were 330 active COVID-19 cases in Wilson County Schools, which have seen 562 people test positive since the start of the school year. There are 1, 878 students out because of contact tracing and positive cases, and 3,306 students have been in that boat since the start of the school year.
Masks are still optional district-wide, and a school can now move to “face coverings requested” if their weekly end attendance rate falls below 85%. Keep in mind that a request is not a requirement.
The district also strongly recommends self-quarantining for close contacts who have no COVID symptoms.
“It’s been said ‘what are you doing?’ We’re absolutely living this every hour of the day and we’re catching it from both sides,” Luttrell said. “But I can assure you Wilson County Schools we’re looking at everything we can look at and looking at it to try to determine what is the best.”
There will also be symptom checks once per week in grades 6-12 where previously it was just for K-5 students.