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Lower COVID cases cause change in school protocols
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Based upon lower rates of spread in schools and in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Public Health's COVID-19 Status Report, Bulloch County Schools will transition from its “High-Spread” to its “No/Moderate-Spread” COVID protocols beginning Monday.

Hayley Greene, director of Public Relations for the school system, said in a release Friday that the change in policy “is in keeping with the school district's 2021-2022 Return-to-School Plan for Infectious Illness Mitigation.” 

School district leaders will continue to monitor local public health conditions from trusted sources and implement appropriate protocols from its plan, Greene said.
According to the release, Superintendent Charles Wilson and school principals discussed the change during the district's monthly leadership meeting on Wednesday.

The school district implemented it High-Spread protocols on August 13, and they were fully in place at all schools and offices by August 20, Greene said. But in the 12 weeks since, the school district has gone from a weekly high of 468 cases, 4,905 close contacts and 33 clusters in August to five cases, one close contact, and no clusters in the week that ended on Oct. 30.  

Friday’s release outlined the main operational changes from High-Spread to No/Moderate-Spread as follows:

  • Clean/Disinfect – Schools and offices will be cleaned on a regular routine schedule instead of between each use. 
  • School Meals – School cafeterias will return to 100 % capacity and social distance markers removed.
  • Recess – Classes may interact together at recess instead of being kept separate.
  • School Buses – Buses will be disinfected and cleaned on a normal routine schedule instead of after each route, and children do not have to social distance and remain seated with their household family members. 
  • Field Trips – Field trips will be allowed if bus drivers are available.

"I want to reiterate that it is imperative that we continue to keep schools open and operating under the most normal conditions possible, providing our students with a sense of stability while attending to their overall psychological, emotional, mental, academic, and physical well-being," Wilson said.

The Georgia Department of Public Health's COVID spread scale is composed of four levels: High, Moderately High, Moderate, and Not Calculated. The DPH's most recent report places Bulloch County in the Moderate category. 

In the release, Greene said the Moderate level has remained constant over the past few weeks, but the school district wanted to monitor any possible impact that major events like the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair and Fall Break had on spread levels before transitioning to its No/Moderate protocols.

School district leaders will continue to monitor local public health conditions from trusted sources and implement appropriate protocols from its plan, Greene said.

 

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