Mitchell Co. Schools reiterates protocols after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Updated: Aug. 18, 2020 at 6:12 PM EDT
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CAMILLA, Ga. (WALB) - After a Mitchell County Schools staff member tested positive for COVID-19, school leaders want to reiterate safety guidelines and protocols in place.

“We take it seriously,” said Jacquelyn White, Mitchell County Schools federal program coordinator.

Personal and transparent is what she said they strive for.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, White said they’re making sure everyone is aware of what’s going on during this critical time.

“Those who have potentially been exposed, we definitely make contact with them. We call them by phone. We like to talk to our parents to let them know exactly what’s going on,” said White.

Jacquelyn White, HR and Federal Programs Coordinator
Jacquelyn White, HR and Federal Programs Coordinator(Source: WALB)

After a staff member in the school system tested positive, the school system said they followed protocol.

Each person in school who may have been exposed was contacted.

White said the health department handles contact tracing.

“That person, student or whoever, has to quarantine to allow the amount of time that’s needed for them to not be contagious,” said White.

White said for any student who may have been exposed, parents are encouraged to keep them home for 10 to 14 days, while closely monitoring symptoms.

Schoolwork is provided for each student asked to stay home.

Areas in school are then disinfected from top to bottom.

If a student comes into school showing symptoms, they’re taken to an isolation room and then taken out of the building. The same goes for staff.

“In our classrooms, we do have social distancing. Our students are six feet apart and none of them are close together for more than 15 minutes,” White said.

While they’re following health department recommendations, White said they still plan to take extra precautions, telling parents of any possible exposure.

School System Reiterates Protocols After Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19
School System Reiterates Protocols After Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19(Source: WALB)

“Especially with younger children, you just never know. They move about and some of them are pretty quick. So that’s why we can’t say that there’s just no way possible the student had been in close proximity for more than 15 minutes,” said White.

White said they’re following other guidelines set before the school year began.

Some include no more than 10 students in a class, masks wearing, and temperature checks.

“We know in any situation, health and safety come first. So that’s a priority for us,” said White.

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