COVID cases on the rise in Troup County schools

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2021

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More than 100 Troup County School System students have a positive case of COVID-19, according to the latest numbers released by the school system Tuesday.

There are 105 students and 22 employees with a positive case of COVID-19, both increases from last week. A total of 420 total students and three employees are quarantined.

Superintendent Brian Shumate discussed the numbers during Monday night’s school board work session. The school system has followed CDC guidelines, which allow kids to avoid quarantine if they are wearing a mask when around someone with a positive COVID-19 case. However, Shumate said many are confused as to why the quarantine numbers are still so high.

“People have asked me, if you don’t have to send people home to quarantine because they have a mask on, how are they getting quarantined? In the lunchrooms, they still have their masks off,” Shumate said, explaining that lunch was the biggest issue. “We are getting ready to go back and ask the principals to be creative on having half the kids in the classroom, half the kids in the cafeteria or some variation thereof.”

He said that in some cases parents report that someone at home has COVID-19, meaning a student has to quarantine. He said the new rules have kept the quarantine number way down, compared to where it would’ve been last year, under previous regulations.

“If we were to quarantine the same way we did last year with the same rules, we’d have upwards of 1,000 kids in quarantine right now,” he said.  “We have a couple hundred, but it’s not near that, so it’s been helping us to have these [masks] on.”

Shumate visited every campus over the first few days of school and said people were a lot more comfortable this year than last, when all of the COVID-19 regulations were new.

“This year it felt more like a regular first week of school,” he said.