HARTSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After 178 people within Trousdale County Schools had to be put in quarantine this week due to a teacher testing positive for COVID-19, the superintendent says they take the health and safety of their students and staff very seriously.

“What we hear from parents is, it’s just like a sigh ‘oh my gosh again?’ What do I need to do to get my child back in school and to in-person learning as quick as we can?” said Clint Satterfield, Director of Schools.

The district feels more prepared than this time last year. Anyone that has to quarantine is continuing classes through Google Classroom, the same system used during the hybrid learning model.

“We just know it’s going to be tough with we have an optional mask policy like everyone else and we are back to full in-person learning and it’s very difficult to keep that physical distancing space,” Satterfield said. “I think coming back to school some might have let their guard down a little bit, so it’s just an early wake up call and our nurses are working on protocols to mitigate exposure and mitigate time out of school as much as possible.”

Satterfield says there are students and staff who are choosing to wear masks, including himself. He believes it is a personal choice. But, became emotional when speaking about the importance of protecting his own family and the entire district in order to keep schools open.

“We hate to quarantine students, but we know if we don’t use those health protocols in the right way, it could promote an epidemic and make our schools be closed,” Satterfield said. “With the new rules, if we have to close schools because of infection, that cuts into our stockpile days and may have to be made up.”

There are 1,400 total students in the county. They are continuing to evaluate protocols and work closely with the Tennessee Department of Health on next steps.

Nurses have been contact tracing for the last two days. If anyone in quarantine tests negative on day six, they can return on day eight. If they do not get a test, they must quarantine for a full 14 days.