As you may already know, we have a positive student case of COVID-19 at GLHS, and several other students tested. We did expect to have cases once school began. I will provide an update each Friday of the number of positive cases of COVID-19 at each school and the district total. I want to assure you that the health and safety of your children, and our faculty and staff, are our top priority.
I also want to assure you we are taking every precaution and acting strictly within the guidelines provided by the State of Ga. (Governor’s Office), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Department of Public Health (DPH). We encourage anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay at home. Most often occurring symptoms are: fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache and loss of taste and smell. If anyone in your family has these symptoms, the guidelines require the entire family to quarantine. Even after COVID testing and receiving a negative result, the guidelines require 10 days of quarantine before returning to school or work.
What happens when the school is made aware of a positive case?
The principals will notify the Superintendent and then ensure appropriate required DPH paperwork is completed. The Superintendent will contact the DPH to provide information as well as receive guidance as to when the student/staff member may return to school. The school will contact the individual/family of the person with COVID-19. Contact tracing will begin to determine everyone the student has had close contact with (meaning they have been together 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of each other). The school will then notify the close contacts that they too must quarantine 14 days from their last exposure. The DPH will also contact the person/family of the person with COVID-19 to give direction and provide assistance if needed. If you are told to quarantine because you are a close contact, you should go home, stay away from others and monitor your health. If no symptoms appear, it is recommended a COVID test be taken on the 10th day after exposure. You may want to test earlier if symptoms do appear. Any student having to quarantine should immediately switch to Distance Learning for their assignments. They may return once the quarantine period is completed and they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the assistance of fever reducing medications.
Please know that we are here for you and will assist in any way possible. Fortunately, the spread of COVID-19 is much lower for children than adults, and most people are typically shocked to find they or their children have it. The symptoms in children are typically mild: stuffy or runny nose, low grade fever although many never run a fever, and a cough. We realize every temperature is not due to COVID-19 but do ask you to be alert and monitor your child’s health. If you suspect any illness, act to insure you do not infect others. Keep the child home from school to see if symptoms develop or improve. Thanks to the quick and appropriate actions of the student/family who tested positive at the high school, no other students were infected. If we all work together, we can hopefully minimize exposure and spread. If we do have a large exposure in a classroom, the entire class may be quarantined. Typically though, through contact tracing we can identify and quarantine only the students who may be at risk. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact your school administrators or me.
Melody Day, Superintendent