Two test positive, 20 to 30 students sent home to quarantine
By Tia Lynn Ivey
Just four days into the new school year, two Morgan County Middle School (MCMS) students have tested positive for COVID-19, and between 20 and 30 students have been sent home to quarantine for two weeks.
According to Dr. Virgil Cole, superintendent of Morgan County Schools, while student cooperation with COVID-19 rules at school has been “impressive,” there’s no way to guarantee coronavirus cases won’t crop up.
“The students’ compliance has been outstanding so far. Our kids have been great,” said Cole. “We are all trying to be careful and are going through everyone these two students came into close contact with.”
MCMS Principal Hillary Meeler sent an email to parents on Tuesday, Aug. 11 notifying parents of the situation.
“Morgan County Middle School considers the health and well-being of our students, teachers, and staff to be of the utmost importance,’ wrote Meeler. “Today, we were alerted to two 8th grade students who tested positive for COVID-19.”
According to Assistant Superintendent Jay Homan, the two students who tested positive are family and no staff members have been exposed.
“While no staff members were impacted, today we were notified of two related students who tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, it is our understanding that the two students are doing well with mild symptoms. We immediately identified close contacts and notified those students and parents individually,” said Homan.
According to Meeler and Homan, school staff is working with health experts on how to proceed.
“We have been working closely with local public health officials to ensure the proper recommendations are followed to isolate the student diagnosed with COVID-19, identify close contacts, and clean and disinfect areas of the school building,” explained Meeler.
“We are in regular communication with the Georgia Department of Health and our local medical professionals and have developed a detailed plan to address positive cases and known exposures,” assured Homan. “As part of this plan, students who stay home sick or under quarantine will be provided with remote learning opportunities and will have an opportunity to have their attendance recorded as digitally present.”
Meeler assured parents that all students who were exposed will be notified personally.
“If you are not contacted personally by a school administrator or the school nurse, your child does not need to quarantine,” said Meeler. “Please continue to monitor your child’s health daily for fever and symptoms of respiratory illness.Thanks for your support.”
Homan released a statement declaring health and safety as the school system’s top priority.
“Ultimately, we hold the health and safety of our students, staff, and community members as the highest priority and we will continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Homan. “We encourage parents to monitor their child’s health daily for fever and symptoms of respiratory illness.”