Clinch Co. High temporarily shuts down after apparent COVID-19 outbreak

Clinch Co. High temporarily shuts down after apparent COVID-19 outbreak

HOMERVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Clinch County High School is the first school in Southwest Georgia to shut down for a COVID-19 outbreak since reopening for fall.

Outside of Clinch County High School.
Outside of Clinch County High School. (Source: WALB)

Clinch County Schools Superintendent Lori James said they decided to shut down the school because within a week, they saw a rise in student cases.

“The previous week numbers, we had four students positive cases at the high school and then last week, that number jumped pretty quickly to 14,” said James.

James said after reviewing data, they determined closing for 10 days could help slow the spread.

The week of Sept. 11, James said there were about 20 students quarantined for possible exposure. Last week, she said that number increased to 45.

There are about 370 students at the high school doing in-person learning.

“We’re doing everything we can to try to keep our schools as safe as possible for the students. We want our students to be with us in the building participating in face to face instructions. That’s where they learn best,” said James.

James said parents and the community have been very supportive with their decision.

During the closure, the school will undergo deep cleaning. Their custodial service will disinfect using electrostatic misting. They will also continue to wipe down desks and highly-touched places with hospital-grade disinfectants.

Clinch County Schools Superintendent Lori James said they decided to shut down the school because within a week, they saw a rise in student cases.
Clinch County Schools Superintendent Lori James said they decided to shut down the school because within a week, they saw a rise in student cases. (Source: WALB)

James said right now, students are participating in distance learning and it’s going well.

She recommends those at home to be smart and social distance.

“Follow the guidance that the (Department of Public Health) is putting out there for everybody to do as we navigate these uncharted waters, stay home as much as possible. If you are not feeling well, go see a doctor. And let’s try to do everything we can to get back in school. And be back at Clinch County High school next week,” said James.

High school students not under quarantine are allowed back on Sept. 28.

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