TCSS sees new highs in positive cases, quarantines due to COVID-19

Published 3:53 pm Friday, December 11, 2020

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The Troup County School System currently has more positive COVID-19 cases and more people in quarantine than it’s had all year.

As of its update on Friday’s update, there are 54 total positive cases at TCSS — 43 students and 11 employees. There are also 677 students and 50 employees quarantined for possible exposure to someone with COVID-19.

Put another way, just under 6 percent of Troup County students are either out with a positive case of COVID-19 or are currently in quarantine. Superintendent Brian Shumate said TCSS is still dealing with the aftermath of the Thanksgiving holiday and has seen its cases increase since students returned to school.

He noted that TCSS is carefully watching Callaway High School, where there were 11 active student cases as of Wednesday, according to the school’s Facebook page. Shumate also mentioned Long Cane Middle School as a school that has seen an increase in cases.

However, he said cases are still spread throughout the entire district, meaning they aren’t confined to one or two schools.

“We have a couple of schools that we are monitoring pretty closely. We are going to monitor over the weekend, and see on a day-to-day basis,” Shumate said. “We are hoping it plateaus and starts to come back down a little bit.”

Shumate said TCSS still has plans in place to go virtual at any moment, if that’s what’s needed. The school system has only one week left — or five more days — until Christmas break begins.

“We’re prepared to go full virtual — it could be a pod, it could be a school, or it could the entire district at any time,” Shumate said.

Shumate said the weekend is often the worst time for TCSS, as there are often several cases reported by Sunday night. He said the school system will continue to watch the numbers as they go into the final week of the first semester.

“There’s no plan at the moment to close anything down, but we are certainly monitoring everything closely,” Shumate said. “We’re going to take all precautions.”

While there’s concern over the next week, TCSS is also concerned with the holiday break. Total cases continue to rise locally — in and out of the school system — and family gatherings might only make those numbers increase. With that in mind, Shumate encouraged parents to let schools know if a TCSS student has a case of COVID-19 over winter break, so that the school system can prepare for the start of school in January.