Parents concerned as COVID-19 cases surge in Sumner County

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SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKNR) – In the last couple of weeks, Sumner County reported its highest numbers of new COVID-19 cases, hitting a record on October 26 with 166 positive tests, 143 Saturday, and 124 Thursday.

That means around 16% of tests are coming back positive.

The mayor is now extending the state of emergency and schools are extending hybrid distance learning until December.

The rise in cases is reflected in schools, with the district reporting more than 100 new cases last week alone.

“Luckily I work from home, I have three children, so I had to make the decision to send them to school because their education… they hadn’t been to school since March,” Hendersonville parent Cheriese Baker told News 2 while grocery shopping Friday.

As soon as Baker put her kids back in school last month, her fifth grader was immediately sent home.

“My 10-year-old fifth grader, he’s been quarantined. Today’s actually his first day back at school. The whole class ended up getting quarantined, a child caught COVID. It was kind of scary getting those calls from the health department,” Baker explained.

Several parents and staff have reached out to News 2 via email in the last month concerned about the district’s protocols, including quarantining teachers and a reported shortage of cleaning supplies.

“I was just at the nail shop locally here in Hendersonville and I heard a young lady say yeah I was quarantined because there was an outbreak,” Baker said. “I haven’t heard any update from the school so I assume my seventh grader is safe. I didn’t get that automated call like I did.. when it was a direct case, that’s the only time I heard something.”

As of Friday afternoon, the district communications office did not respond to our questions via email.

Sumner Regional Medical Center also hit capacity this week for the first time since the pandemic started in March. They are now diverting COVID-19 patients to other hospitals.

The county falls under the governor’s mandate, which as of right now, are only “strong encouragements.

They reopened businesses, relaxed restrictions, and canceled the mask mandate. A few weeks ago, cases starting hitting records, landing Sumner County in the White House red zone.

“I have noticed some businesses, it’s sad to say, but the workers are not wearing the masks,” Baker also said.

Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt reinstated the mask mandate on October 22. He told News 2 Friday that he is urging citizens to follow it and take extra caution through the holidays.

The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office tells News 2 they have not written any citations for the mask mandate as of Friday.

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