SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – For the first time since the start of the school year, the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) reported zero COVID-19 cases among employees.
Case totals for staff members and students have seen significant decreases in recent weeks. Take a look at the weekly COVID-19 reports for the district to date:
- Week 1: 233 students and 37 staffers
- Week 2: 352 students and 44 staffers
- Week 3: 437 students and 76 staffers
- Week 4: 477 students and 83 staffers
- Week 5: 360 students and 72 staffers
- Week 6: 219 students and 38 staffers
- Week 7: 154 students and 29 staffers
- Week 8: 116 students and 23 staffers
- Week 9: 88 students and 9 staffers
- Week 10: 67 students and 11 staffers
- Week 11: 49 students and 4 staffers
- Week 12: 33 students and 0 staffers
For week 12, ending Oct. 22, staff member quarantines totaled 17 (0.30%), compared to last week’s total of 22 (0.39%).
Student quarantines have decreased as well, from 447 (1.24%) in week 11 to 328 (0.91%) in week 12.
The numbers seem promising, but officials say they’re not letting up on safety protocols. The district, for example, has required face masks for students and employees since the first day of school.
“While we are definitely excited to see the downward trend in cases, we are continuing to practice the mitigation strategies we feel have been helpful in getting us to this point,” District Lead Nurse Lisa Wilson said.
SCCPSS, in partnership with Chatham County and the city of Savannah, is offering a vaccine incentive program through mid-November. Full- and part-time employees are eligible for $500 in federal funding if fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the district, as of last Thursday, there were 4,178 employees registered for the incentive program, representing about 75% of SCCPSS’ some 5,600 employees.
That may not account for all employees who are fully vaccinated. According to the district, they do not collect that data.
“Some may have been vaccinated and just not registered for the incentive yet,” a district spokesperson explained.
This week, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said 66% of city employees are fully vaccinated. He said once the vaccine incentive program ends on Nov. 15, he might consider vaccine mandates or raising insurance costs.
This comes as the Biden administration reportedly conducts its final review of a sweeping plan that will require businesses with 100 or more employees to prove they are vaccinated against COVID or being tested weekly.