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Elm Street monitoring increased COVID-19 activity

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 22, 2021 - 3:55 PM

Elm Street monitoring increased COVID-19 activity

NTH File Photo

Elm Street Elementary School is monitoring increased COVID-19 activity among staff and students at the school.

Four Elm Street students and staff have reported positive tests for COVID-19 between Jan. 19 and 22, according to a letter sent to parents Friday.

In addition to confirmed cases, a large number of students and staff have been identified for quarantine due to potential close exposure through contact tracing efforts at the school. Currently, there are seven staff members and 80 students who cannot return to school due to close contact or isolation.

Exposures have come from cases in the community at large as well as from within the school. A continued increase in quarantines and isolations has the potential to significantly impact the school’s ability to operate for face-to-face instruction, according to the letter.

Should this be the case, the school system will make a determination regarding Elm Street reverting to a virtual instruction only model for a period of time. Parents will be made aware ahead of time should this change in instruction need to take place.

The school and school system have worked closely with local public health officials to continually review this situation, as they do with all positive tests for COVID-19 and potential exposures. The school and school system have taken all steps recommended by the Georgia Department of Public Health. These include:

  • Preventative school cleaning, disinfection and hygiene measures.
  • Limiting meetings, activities and school visitors.
  • Requiring that masks or face coverings continue to be worn diligently in school.
  • Promoting social distancing (remaining six feet from each other) as much as possible in school.
  • Advising employees to voluntarily limit travel as much as possible beyond work and home.

The school system works with the Department of Health closely to monitor all cases of COVID-19 in the school system and follow recommended protocols. Steps taken include:

  • Thorough interviews of staff and students conducted by school health staff to contact trace each case individually, and advise isolation or quarantine of individuals to prevent spread of COVID-19, per DPH protocol.
  • Individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 were advised to isolate. Close contacts of positive cases identified through contact tracing were advised to quarantine, per DPH protocols.
  • Regular health checks and self-reporting efforts, and advisement of quarantine due to symptoms, per DPH protocol.
  • All employees not identified as a close contact are advised that a positive case has been identified and that quarantine was not required in their case, per DPH protocols.
  • All individual cases, and all contact tracing findings, were reported to the Department of Health for review and additional guidance.

“The Coweta County School System considers the health and well-being of our students, teachers, and staff to be of the utmost importance,” the letter stated. “We have appreciated the cooperation of students and employees in following the preventative guidance outlined above.”

The school system and DPH will continue to work together to monitor the situation, and will advise parents of any updates to the situation. Parents with questions should contact the principal or school nurse.