STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – More than 80 students and teachers are in quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 just days after school started in Bulloch County. There are now six confirmed cases throughout four schools.
“It was inevitable that when people get back together something like this was going to happen,” Bulloch County Schools Superintendent, Charles Wilson said.
Langston Chapel Middle School, Mattie Lively, and Nevils Elementary Schools each confirming one case of the virus. With Portal Elementary confirming three cases.
Superintendent Charles Wilson said all staff and school nurses responded according to the protocols put in place.
“This allowed us to work through this carefully, quickly, and actually do the things we needed to do to identify the individuals that needed to be quarantined,” Wilson said.
More than 80 students and teachers are now quarantined for 14 days. Those students and teachers will still be able to complete their school work from home. Wilson said if the outbreaks continue he doesn’t foresee closing the schools altogether right now because of the distance learning option.
“In our face-to-face option, we have designed and incorporated into that the distance learning concept which allows us to continue with the learning for the students,” Wilson said.
Students who need to quarantine at home for 14 days will be able to check out a Chromebook until they are clear to return to the school building.
He says a lot has been learned this first week back. The district has come across problems with contact tracing. Teachers have been asked to follow a tight seating chart to help identify those who come in contact with the virus but in at least one classroom Wilson said those rules weren’t followed.
“So lesson learned it’s a reinforcement of why this is so important because what happened is when we don’t know for sure we just have to take the safe approach and quarantine everyone in that classroom,” Wilson said.
Regardless of the new positive cases, Wilson believes he made the right decision to reopen schools because this gave parents the opportunity to choose what style of learning is best for their students.
For parents who have chosen face-to-face learning for their students, Wilson said it is too late to switch back to online learning. Those changes can be made next semester.