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Rutherford County Schools

After a discussion Thursday morning with the Tennessee Department of Health, Rutherford County Schools has received new guidance on how the school district should handle contact tracing related to COVID-19.

The specific guidelines, along with the changes, can be found on the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/School_Recommendations.pdf

Previously, the guidance had been that anyone in contact with someone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 had to be quarantined for 14 days. The new guidance now states that only those who have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID must be quarantined.

As such, schools will be working with those families who have students on quarantine to transition them back to school over the next few days. Only those who have symptoms or who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID must remain in quarantine.

Currently, there are approximately 250 cases, districtwide, of students who have been quarantined because of COVID symptoms. By contrast, there are approximately 1,250 students, districtwide, who have been quarantined for being in contact with someone with a potential, but not confirmed, case of COVID-19.

The school district has already shared information about suspected cases with the Health Department, as required, and we will continue to do so as new potential cases arise. The Health Department will then perform contact tracing if it determines there is an actual case of COVID-19.

Many parents expressed frustration over the past few days because their children have been quarantined and moved to distance learning for a 14-day period.

RCS schools will remain vigilant when it comes to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. If RCS quarantines a student for potential symptoms, the other students will move to another area for the remainder of the day and the classroom will be sanitized before it can be used again. RCS will also continue to monitor spread rate numbers in the community and will keep parents notified of any issues that affect their children directly.