Rutherford County Schools has received new guidance from the Tennessee Department of Health 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,” the district stated in a press release this week. 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.

“We know that many parents have expressed frustration over the past few days because their children have been quarantined and moved to distance learning for a 14-day period,” the press release stated. “We are grateful for this new guidance from the Health Department.”

Rutherford County School will remain vigilant when it comes to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. If a student is quarantined for potential symptoms, the other students in the class will be moved to another area for the remainder of the day and then the classroom will be deeply sanitize before it can be used again. 

“We will also continue to monitor spread rate numbers in the community and will keep parents notified of any issues that affect their children directly.”

Source: Rutherford County Schools