COVID-19 impacts more than 20 local schools ahead of Christmas break

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – More than 20 local schools combined are closing down or moving to all-virtual learning before the Christmas break.

Mirroring national trends, COVID-19 cases have been increasing locally following the Thanksgiving holiday.

News 3 learned last week Windsor Forest High School, of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, would be moving all students to virtual learning for the week of Dec. 14 to 18 due to positive cases among staff members.

After Santa and Mrs. Claus tested positive for the coronavirus following the Long County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas parade, Long County Schools offered a learn-at-home option this week to account for any students who may have been exposed.

The Vidalia City School System closed a portion of two schools down starting Tuesday, Dec. 15, through the break.

The closure applies to students in grades 6-12 at Vidalia High School and J.R. Trippe Middle School. All athletic events have been canceled and Vidalia High’s concerts on Wednesday and Thursday have also been postponed.

Teachers and staff are reporting as normal until Friday, along with grades K-5 at the schools.

Other schools have made the decision to close Dec. 17 and 18 due to a rise in cases.

Three schools in the Evans County School System will be closed Thursday and Friday, including Claxton Middle School, Claxton High School and Second Chance Academy. In a statement, the district noted that weekend meals would be sent home with students on Wednesday.

The school system has suspended all athletic and extracurricular activities until students return in January.

Meanwhile, Claxton Elementary School will remain open for the rest of the week and Evans County School System employees will report to work following safety protocol.

The Liberty County School System, comprised of about 15 schools, is also moving all in-person learners to virtual learning for the rest of the week.

“I would like to thank the parents, students, staff and community for working together during this process,” stated Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry. “Please remember to keep your families safe by following the 3 W’s: Wash your hands, Watch your distance, and Wear your mask!”

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