One school hits threshold, requires masks as school restarts Tuesday

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, January 4, 2022

One school in the Troup County School System will have to wear masks when students return Tuesday, and TCSS continues to monitor numbers at schools across the system.

“At this time, we are monitoring every school by student and staff member and assessing those who have tested positive for COVID, who are in quarantine and/or who have extended symptoms due to COVID,” said Superintendent Brian Shumate.

Masks will continue to be highly recommended systemwide.

“However, please remember our 1% rule for positive student cases,” he said. “If a school reaches 1% of their overall student population who have tested positive for COVID, we will require masks again. We have one school at this time which has surpassed that number and will be requiring masks starting tomorrow.”

Irisha Goodman, public relations director for TCSS, said Hogansville Elementary is the school that will have to wear masks Tuesday due to hitting the 1% threshold.

Shumate said if a school has to require masks, parents will be notified by the principal.

“If we have a critical mass of schools that exceed 1%, we will mandate mask-wearing district-wide,” he said. “If we have a critical mass of COVID positive staff and/or students at a particular school, we may move to all virtual learning at that school for a few days.”

Shumate said 13 of TCSS’s transportation staff are either positive for COVID-19 or in quarantine, so transportation may be affected in the coming days. Routes may be combined, and pick-up and drop-off times may be delayed.

Schools as well as the entire school district are prepared to go fully virtual, Shumate said.

“First, we need for every student to take his/her Chromebooks home each night with exception to some of our youngest students (we will make provisions for Chromebook pick-up if necessary),” he said.

“Second, will make provisions for food distribution for both breakfast and lunch. That information will be posted on our website at www.troup.org and sent to you via our SendIt app.”

Shumate said according to new CDC guidelines, the quarantining period has been reduced from 10 days to five days if someone is exposed to a positive case.

“Please remember that if someone has been vaccinated or boosted within the past six months or was wearing a mask during exposure, quarantining will not be necessary as long as that person is asymptomatic,” he said. “We realize that getting tested for COVID is difficult right now, so please stay home and/or keep your kids home if you or they have any symptoms.”

TCSS highly recommends vaccines and boosters to those who are eligible, Shumate said.

“As we have previously advertised, the TCSS will be hosting vaccination clinics for five to 11-year-olds beginning Jan. 18,” he said. “Letters will be going home this week to sign up.”