Bulloch County Schools: Asymptomatic students, staff who wear masks don’t have to quarantine after direct COVID-19 exposure

Coronavirus
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BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — The Bulloch County Board of Education unanimously approved a motion to “reconsider the Department of Public Health guidelines.”

Board members approved the motion, which came from District 4 Board Member April Newkirk, on Oct. 8.

The changes state that if a student is exposed to a COVID-19-positive person, they don’t need to follow the 14-day quarantine guidelines if it’s been documented that the exposed student wore a mask.

The Board of Education states the decision goes into effect immediately, and all asymptomatic students and staff can now return to campuses.

However, they must continue to show no symptoms and wear masks. 

At the meeting, Board members discussed efforts to keep monitoring COVID-19 cases, and asked the superintendent to look into how the district can implement additional measures.

School nurses have been notified of the decision, and each school will notify quarantined students that they may return to school under the conditions outlined by the Board.

Isolation protocols will remain in effect for those who are sick.

Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson said after the meeting, “There are good reasons for [the board’s] decision and we are all looking forward to implementing these revisions to the best benefit of our students.”  

Wilson says he has been in regular contact with the Georgia Department of Public Health during the pandemic and has discussed adhering to the orders and guidelines with legal counsel.

“The school district has been operating under an administrative order from DPH due to a public health crisis, and it gets its authority from the Governor’s executive order,” Wilson said.

Since schools reopened on Aug. 17 with parents’ choice of virtual or on-campus learning, the school board says it has partnered with DPH to implement COVID-19 isolations, contact tracing and 14-day quarantines of asymptomatic people who had direct contact with a positive person.

As of Oct. 9, 97 employees and students have tested positive for COVID-19.

It has led to 900 total quarantines, and 151 remain in quarantine while 13 of those have developed symptoms or tested positive, according to the school district.

A real-time COVID-19 reporting website from the Bulloch County Board of Education can be viewed by clicking this link.

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