Teachers and other employees returned to school Monday, and the Coweta County School System is keeping a close watch on COVID-19 numbers.
As of Wednesday evening, 57 employees have been excluded from work because they tested positive for COVID-19, had contact with someone who tested positive, or exhibited symptoms of COVID-19.
Affected employees were reported in 21 of the 31 Coweta schools and three other departments within the school system as of Wednesday, according to Dean Jackson, public information officer for the Coweta County School System.
All Coweta Schools employees are required to self-screen each day, preferably before reporting to work.
“Employees are asked to to self-check their temperature each morning, or, if they were unable to do that at home before they left, to check it immediately upon arrival at school,” Jackson said.
All employees are required to immediately report to their schools or supervisors any positive test result for COVID-19, any exposure to someone who has tested positive, or any sign of COVID-19 symptoms.
Jackson said the school system follows the Georgia Department of Public Health guidelines for quarantine or home isolation, which are recommended for everyone who has tested positive, been exposed or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19. The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Those testing positive for COVID-19 should report their close contacts to the DPH, which will provide further guidance and enroll those contacts in symptom monitoring. More information on contact tracing is available at www.dph.georgia.gov/contact .
To help prevent the disease from spreading through households and the community, the DPH recommends the following:
Stay home except to get medical care
You must not go outside your home unless you need medical care or in the event of an emergency, such as a fire. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transportation, Uber/Lyft or taxis. If seeking medical care, always call ahead to alert the health care provider that you have or may have COVID-19.
Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
As much as possible, you should stay in a different room from other people in your home. You should use a separate bathroom, if available. The CDC currently recommends keeping 6 feet between yourself and others, if possible. Prohibit visitors to your home as much as possible.
Wear a face mask
You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (especially when sharing a room or a vehicle), pets, and when you enter a health care provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face mask, then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, and they should wear a face mask if they enter your room.
Use appropriate hygiene
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If handwashing with soap is not possible, use alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to thoroughly cover all surfaces of your hands, then rub until they feel dry. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes or nose with unwashed hands. If you cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth.
Avoid sharing household items
You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
Clean ‘high-touch’ surfaces frequently
Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product, including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
Monitor your symptoms
If you develop worsening symptoms such as difficulty breathing, you should seek prompt medical attention. Be sure to call your health care provider before seeking care and tell the office that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Wear a facemask before entering the health care facility to protect other patients and staff from being exposed.
What to do in an emergency
If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Notify emergency services that you are infected with COVID-19. Put on a facemask, if possible, before emergency services arrive.