Sumner County parents react to school closures as COVID-19 cases spike

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SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Wednesday, Sumner County Schools announced they’ll be closed September 7 to 10 to help mitigate the community spread of COVID-19.

The district said there would be no online learning during this time period, but they will continue sports and extracurricular activities.

“Sumner County Schools will utilize inclement weather days to help mitigate the community spread of COVID-19 among students and staff from September 7 to September 10. There will be no instruction via GoogleClassroom during this time period. Extracurricular activities, including athletic games and practices, will continue but must occur after normal school dismissal time. All Sumner County Schools will resume normal operations on September 13th. We encourage everyone to practice safe, healthy measures during this break to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community.”

Parents had mixed reactions to the district’s decision, like Cari Lambrecht, who has two elementary age children in Sumner County Schools. She thinks when the schools reopen they need to implement a mask mandate and other mitigation efforts.

“There’s a real disregard for just how this virus spreads and just how a pandemic works. Taking a week off from school it’s not going to solve the issue. If it were truly, really bad, we would go home tomorrow. And we would stop the extracurricular activities and the gatherings outside of school as well. I just think it’s a band aid and it’s not really going to do anything. We’re just going to go right back into this spiral of rising pediatric cases.” Lambrecht said.

Data from the Tennessee Department of Health shows that about 61-hundred ‘school aged children’ tested positive for COVID-19 last August. This year that number skyrocketed to above 42-thousand.

TDH reported Wednesday night that roughly 73 kids were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. About 18 were in ICU and 7 were on ventilators.

Despite the high number of positive cases state-wide, Sumner Schools extracurricular activities and sports will continue next while students are away from academic instruction. Mother of a Sumner County second grader, Ashley Rucker, doesn’t understand that decision.

Tracking COVID in Tennessee
📊 COVID-19 cases among TN school-age children
📊 Tennessee’s Current COVID-19 hospitalizations
📊 New COVID-19 cases and deaths reported by month

“When you’re playing football it’s a contact sport. When you’re playing basketball it’s a contact sport,” Rucker said. “It’s not going to go away in a week. The delta variant is not going to go away in a week!”

News 2 contacted Sumner County Schools for more information about their decision to temporarily close Wednesday afternoon, but did not immediately receive a response.

Classes will resume on Monday, September 13th.

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