Local school districts report handfuls of COVID-19 cases as many students return to classes

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — As many students, faculty and staff returned to campuses in schools across several nearby counties, some districts have provided up-to-date information on reported COVID-19 infections online.

Not all schools began their academic years in August with an in-person option. For instance, the Beaufort County School District begins classes virtually on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Also, not all school districts will be sharing COVID-19 information publicly, including Bryan and Camden County Schools.

For those counties who are providing details of reported cases, here’s a look at where local school districts are in terms of keeping track of COVID-19. Georgia Southern University is also included in this breakdown.

Bulloch County Schools

Students resumed their education either virtually or via traditional on-campus learning on Monday, Aug. 17, in Bulloch County. Public relations director Hayley Greene tells WSAV NOW that the school district has worked closely with the regional Department of Health since late February.

“We’ve put some very robust and secure protocols in place with our medical personnel,” Greene said. “We have district medical personnel, and each of our 15 schools has a school nurse [as] on-site medical personnel.”

Since the start of the academic year, Bulloch County Schools has provided the public with detailed online COVID-19 information reflecting how the virus has impacted its 10,697 virtual and on-campus students as well as its 1,500 on-campus employees.

“We’ve also made our local emergency management agency aware of it, so when they send out a daily community briefing for our community, that site is included in that briefing with a hyperlink to our real-time report,” Greene said.

As of Friday, Aug. 28, Bulloch County Schools has reported 26 cases of COVID-19 since the school year began. That’s six reported cases during the first week of school and 20 cases over the course of the second week.

As a result, 308 students and employees have been quarantined for 14 days as a precaution.

The chart below shows how some of the district’s schools have been affected by COVID-19.

SchoolOn-Campus StudentsOn-Campus EmployeesCases to DateQuarantined to Date
Stilson Elementary School29258663
Portal Elementary School29572559
Statesboro High School750162228
Sallie Zetterower Elementary School31998350
Nevils Elementary School33470119
Bulloch County Schools COVID-19 reports as of 10:15 a.m. on Aug. 28, 2020

More detailed information on Bulloch County Schools COVID-19 cases can be found by visiting their website here.

Effingham County Schools

Effingham County Schools went back to classes on Wednesday, Aug. 5, and students had a choice of attending online or in person.

The school district has made downloadable COVID-19 reports available for each week of the school year thus far, which shows how the virus has impacted Effingham County’s 1,735 staff members and 12,777 students. Of those enrolled students, 9,815 of them are being taught on campus.

Effingham County Schools breaks down the below information by the number of positive students and staff as well as the number of close-contact students and staff.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a close contact as any person who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, starting from two days before the person showed signs of COVID-19 infection.

The following chart represents cases reported from the week of Aug. 3 through Aug. 22. COVID-19 cases for this week, Aug. 24 to 28, have not yet been updated on the Effingham County Schools website.

Date RangeNumber of Positive StudentsNumber of Close-Contact StudentsNumber of Positive StaffNumber of Close-Contact Staff
Aug. 3-743727
Aug. 10-145170720
Aug. 17-2212157514
Effingham County Schools COVID-19 reports as of Aug. 28, 2020

For the week of Aug. 17 to 22, the school district reported 0.12% of students had been confirmed COVID-19 positive, while 0.29% of staff members had been diagnosed with the virus.

That week, students and staff who either had COVID-19 or been in close contact with an infected person worked or attended school at Rincon Elementary, Ebenezer Ebenezer Elementary and Springfield Elementary schools.

Additional information on COVID-19 cases reported at Effingham County Schools can be found on their website by clicking here.

Glynn County Schools

Students attending school in Glynn County had a delayed start to their academic year, as school district officials pushed back the first date of classes from Aug. 11 to Aug. 20.

Families were also given an option between traditional or virtual learning. For the 2020-21 school year, the district has 13,019 enrolled students with 1,937 staff members.

Glynn County Schools provides up-to-date information on reported COVID-19 cases on their website’s “COVID-19/Coronavirus Information” page.

Since school began last week, the site has been updated regularly with any relevant details relating to COVID-19-positive students or staff members.

“In Glynn County Schools, if a student, faculty or staff member has shown COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive, are awaiting results or had close contact with a person with COVID-19, they must notify their school principal and quarantine for 14 days,” Glynn County Schools public relations specialist Brittany Tate told WSAV NOW.

“After alerting the district office, which then works with contact tracers at the local health department, the principal reports this information to those who had direct contact with the suspected or confirmed individual,” Tate said. “Those individuals must also quarantine for 14 days after exposure to the virus — usually the last day the suspected or confirmed individual attended school.”

Some of the Glynn County schools impacted by the coronavirus over the past week include:

  • Satilla Marsh Elementary School
  • C.B. Greer Elementary School
  • Glyndale Elementary School
  • Glynn Academy
  • Leaps and Bounds Pre-kindergarten
  • Brunswick High School

By the end of the first day of classes, the school district’s reported cases remained at zero. That changed just a day later, with the first positive case confirmed at Glynn Academy.

“We immediately identified close contacts and notified their parents individually, [and] as a result, 37 students have been quarantined at home due to this exposure,” wrote the school district in an update on Friday, Aug. 21.

As of Thursday, Aug. 27, 15 students and staff members at Glynn Academy have tested positive.

Tate says now more than ever, it’s critical to be able to access accurate, timely and transparent COVID-19-related information.

“It is our responsibility to make sure that our families and stakeholders can access the information that they need when they need it, and that’s why we created the COVID-19/Coronavirus Information page,” she said.

“We want to always keep our families abreast of our action plans and how they may affect school operations, especially since the nature of this pandemic is evolving every day,” she added.

More detailed information on reported COVID-19 cases, exposures and quarantines for Glynn County Schools can be found on their website here.

Bacon County School District

Students in Bacon County returned to school on Monday, Aug. 10. The school district began the 2020-21 academic year under a traditional, face-to-face learning model but offered a virtual option for some families.

The county provides parents with a status report on their website. The most recent update was added on Friday, Aug. 21 at 4 p.m.

Below is the latest COVID-19 information from the Bacon County School District.

In-Person Students and Staff TotalActive COVID-19 Cases Among In-Person Students/Staff (%)Total HospitalizationsActive Quarantines of In-Person Students/Staff Due to Close Contact (%)
2,2050.226%00.680%
Bacon County School District COVID-19 reports as of Aug. 21, 2020

Families can follow Bacon County’s updates on COVID-19 infections by visiting the school district’s website at this link.

Screven County School System

Screven County students and teachers returned to school on Monday, Aug. 17, and families could choose from either in-person or virtual learning options.

District officials say returning to a safe face-to-face learning environment is a top priority, so they’ve implemented a wide range of COVID-19 mitigation measures across all schools.

When it comes to informing families about possible exposures, Screven County School System is taking the following steps:

  • Parents of students in a classroom or similar setting will be notified (by phone if possible) of a positive COVID-19 case in that particular setting
  • Close contacts of COVID-19 cases will be determined and contacted by the health department
  • All staff will be notified by email concerning positive COVID-19 cases in the school system
  • The grade level of the positive case will be identified
  • This information will be shared with the general public via the system website and appropriate social media

From pre-K to 12th grade, the school district has reported six cases of COVID-19 as of Monday, Aug. 24.

The full breakdown of reported cases can be found on the Screven County School System’s website by clicking here.

Toombs County Schools

Toombs County Schools began classes for traditional, in-person learning on Aug. 7 and for virtual distance learning on Friday, Aug. 14.

Of 2,868 students, 2,508 are currently enrolled for in-person classes.

The school district has kept track of all COVID-19 cases among students and staff members since school began. The most recent report on Friday, Aug. 28 shows that 11 students have tested positive for the virus.

Below are additional details on how COVID-19 is impacting Toombs County Schools.

Currently COVID-19-Positive StudentsCurrently Quarantined StudentsTotal Toombs County School System EmployeesCurrently COVID-19-Positive EmployeesCurrently Quarantined Students
115940134
Toombs County Schools COVID-19 reports as of Aug. 28, 2020

Toombs County Schools COVID-19 information can be found on their website by clicking here.

Georgia Southern University

Students at Georgia Southern University returned to classes on Monday, Aug. 17.

The university has created an online chart of the most recent reported COVID-19 cases among students and staff at its Statesboro, Armstrong and Liberty campuses.

The data is collected through the CARES Center for COVID-19 self-reporting, says GSU Communications Director Jennifer Wise.

“The information will be updated weekly on Mondays at noon and can be found on Georgia Southern’s COVID-19 information and resources page under ‘Georgia Southern Resources,'” Wise told WSAV NOW.

As of Sunday, Aug. 23, no cases have been reported on GSU’s Liberty campus, while 61 cases were reported at the Statesboro campus and 10 were reported at Armstrong.

As of that date, the university has reported 71 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff.

“While all positive cases from the previous week will be reported, not all of the individuals who tested positive would have been on campus upon their diagnosis or during their illness,” Wise said.

The latest information from GSU regarding COVID-19 cases can be found by clicking this link.

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