Sunday, February 28, 2021
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White Co. Schools Face Challenges In Limiting COVID Exposure

The White County School System has about 500 students quarantined, one seventh of the total student population.

During Thursday’s Board of Education meeting, Health Services Director Marcie Kinnard presented a representation of how quickly in school exposures can spread over a two week period.

“I went through and assigned a letter to every kid,” Kinnard said. “Then I sat down and show where each child has a class with someone else that is positive.”

Kinnard said the diagram was based off the high school to show how cases move from classroom to classroom. Kinnard said if numbers continue to rise, she recommends schools return to a hybrid schedule.

“And all of those kids, the majority of those were direct contacts, and they were sent home to quarantine and became symptomatic during quarantine and went and got tested. Then reported back to us, I have become positive. We were actually able to see that relationship, as to why quarantine needs to happen.”

The school system’s positive rate sits at 14 percent. Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger said 24 teachers are also quarantined causing a shortage in substitute teachers.

“It is a little more sparse than it normally is,” Dronebarger said. “We are having some areas where we are having to cover with facility and staff. We have not had any classes where an adult was not in the room, but certainly, we have had to stretch our staff into some of those positions to get through the day.”

Dronebarger said the school system entered this year with a hybrid schedule to normalize virtual learning for a situation like this.

In White County High School, 168 students are quarantined with 13 positive cases.

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