Bulloch County’s school system has now set up a dedicated website to disclose the number of positive COVID-19 cases linked to the schools and district offices and the number of students and personnel in precautionary quarantine as a result.
Meanwhile, the first two confirmed cases at Stilson Elementary School, which resulted in 29 people having to quarantine, and the first confirmed case at Statesboro High School, resulting in 16 people quarantining, were reported Monday. After the confirmed cases reported last week, those Monday brought the total to nine cases quarantined in connection with six of the schools, resulting in a total of 127 people – including students, teachers and staff members – having to quarantine as a precautionary measure.
This is out of a total enrollment of 10,697 students, 5,920 are signed up to learn in traditional classes at the 15 schools and three alternative centers, and approximately 1,500 on-site school employees. The other 4,777 students were designated by their parents for at-home virtual instruction.
The website, accessible through a link at www.bullochschools.org, offers “real-time data of positive cases as they are reported that you can access at any time,” school district Public Relations Director Hayley Greene said in a media release.
The report is listed in the red News Alert section at the top of the homepage. For all families of Bulloch County Schools students, it is also available on all school websites in the same area of their homepages, she noted.
All of the six cases last week had been reported as confirmed Wednesday or Thursday, the third and fourth days of school. No cases were reported as confirmed the first two days of the school year, and no additional cases had been reported Friday, before the three on Monday.
Cases by school
As of Monday at 5 p.m., these were total numbers by school:
- · Langston Chapel Middle School: one case; 25 quarantined.
- · Mattie Lively Elementary School: one case; seven quarantined.
- · Nevils Elementary School: one case; 19 quarantined.
- · Portal Elementary School: three cases; 31 quarantined.
- · Statesboro High School: one case; 16 quarantined.
- · Stilson Elementary School: two cases; 29 quarantined.
Most of the students quarantined simply came into close contact, as defined by the state Department of Public Health, with someone who was confirmed to have the coronavirus. If those quarantined do not exhibit symptoms, they will be allowed to return to school after 14 days.
“It’s a precaution, and the parents will monitor them for symptoms during that time, but no one else in the household, and no other siblings in the household, has to quarantine as a result, according to DPH,” said Bulloch County Schools Public Relations Director Hayley Greene. “It’s just that person who had direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person.”
For previously face-to-face students who suddenly find themselves in quarantine, the school system offers “distance learning,” provided by their classroom teachers using video connections and the Google Meets and Google Classroom services.
Some quarantined teachers can also use distance learning connections to appear onscreen and continue teaching students, with another teacher or assigned to be physically present in the classroom.