TCSS updates quarantine policies

Published 10:00 am Saturday, December 5, 2020

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The Troup County School System is updating its COVID-19 quarantine policies to mirror new guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Georgia Department of Public Health.

The new measures lessen the quarantine period for anyone exposed to COVID-19 by a few days, as long as certain guidelines are met.

If a student or faculty member has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they can end their quarantine after 10 days if they exhibit no symptoms of the virus. The quarantine period can also end after seven days, if the person exhibits no symptoms and also receives a negative COVID-19 test.

Previously, under TCSS policy, a 14-day quarantine was required, regardless of whether or not a person tested negative for COVID-19.

Superintendent Brian Shumate said TCSS expects that to mean that there will be less people in quarantine, but he said the district will remain cautious in its approach.

Shumate was concerned about how Thanksgiving break might impact COVID-19 numbers, and TCSS has seen positive cases rise to their highest point this year so far.

He said Friday there were 23 students positive and 10 staff members, but Shumate said in most cases the person knew they were positive Sunday and didn’t come to school this week.

“We’ve had some increased positive cases this week,” Shumate said. “About half of them occurred over Thanksgiving and did not affect anybody at school.”

According to TCSS’s COVID-19 dashboard from Friday, there are 311 students and 40 staff members in quarantine for possible exposure. Shumate said TCSS saw its quarantines top out at around 500 earlier this year.   

Shumate said the school system is still tracking numbers as they relate to the Thanksgiving holiday, which was eight days ago on Friday.

“The guidelines say two to 14 days that show symptoms. Typically ,most cases there are evident in about five days, so we’re hoping we’re getting over the hump with whatever may have occurred on Thanksgiving,” Shumate said. “By Monday, I think we’ll be OK, if we don’t have any outbreaks.”