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Schools work hard to protect students and staff

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       Wayne County Schools continue to work hard enforcing safety protocol, restrictions and guidelines to protect the students and staff from COVID-19. In spite of their best efforts, there has been a recent surge in reported cases, creating an increase in quarantines necessary to help lessen the spread. 

          The school figures which include positive COVID cases for students and staff plus quarantines for students and staff change throughout the day. They were up and down, but by the end of the week on Friday, September 3rd, they were at an all-time high reaching a total of 142 cases from these four categories. The school district had previously recorded their highest number of cases last December 31st with a total of 114.

           The September 3rd breakdown of data collected was as follows:  20 students had currently tested positive for COVID, 108 students quarantined, 8 staff were COVID positive, and 6 staff quarantined with a total of 142.

            On September 9th the data showed: 35 students had currently tested positive for COVID, 170 students quarantined, 6 staff were COVID positive, and 5 staff were quarantined amounting to a total of 216.  

            Like public schools across the state, the district has been recording the daily data on COVID cases and those in quarantine within the school system, since the beginning of the pandemic. The on-going health tracking is complicated because it is a fluid situation.  

           Teachers keep seating charts so they can follow specific guidelines in case a student has a positive case of COVID. Parents are notified by the school so their child can be quarantined when a close contact exposure has occurred. It is important for those quarantined to stay home to keep the virus from spreading.

           Even though these figures seem to be escalating and are very concerning, many schools in neighboring areas are reporting even higher case counts than Wayne County. Schools are not anxious to immediately use their 10 Non-Traditional Instruction days that are granted to them for the entire school year. Instead, they are trying to get as much in-person instruction as they possibly can in at the start of the school year. This enables students to understand the formats of how they are expected to learn, so they get a good basis for the curriculum that is being implemented this school year.

           COVID testing is ongoing to try and provide the quickest return safely to the classroom for students to receive in-person learning. Fortunately, the school district has a Healthy Kids Clinic which is working tirelessly to meet these needs, supported by school nurses at each building.

           Wayne County is one of the few districts in the area that have offered virtual learning this school year in case a family prefers at home learning. There are strict daily attendance guidelines for these individual cases that must be maintained. 

           All kinds of proactive measures have been underway to continue in-person learning.  COVID vaccine availability on campus, required mask wearing, sanitizing student tables and furniture throughout the day inside classrooms, sanitizing stations in hallways, safe spacing of students, eliminating cross mingling of students within teams and grades, and assigned seating onboard clean buses  -  just to name a few of the precautions taken by the schools.

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