Why some schools may be closed longer for Covid-19 cleaning

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – School Officials say East Hamilton Middle and High School, Soddy Daisy High School and Ooltewah High School will be closed due to the Coronavirus .

Cleaners are coming in to disinfect the schools following the Covid-19 guidelines.

School Board Member Dr. Steve Highlander says some schools may be closed longer due to the size of the school and possible numbers of student exposures.

“We are really fortunate in the elementary schools to be able to pretty well contain the kids within a classroom but in High school they are all over the place. They go from one building to another and when you have a case or two or three or four, you may have 30, 40 , 50 or maybe even 100 different contacts that those students can have,” says Dr. Steve Highlander.

Officials say each Coronavirus case and number of contacts varies. The contact tracing list of possible exposures is what could determine the time frame for each of the schools’ closings.

“If it has been a great variety and great number of people that have exposed a lot of students or a lot of the teachers then it would require a little bit longer. I guess the more accurate or more mobile a student or teacher is, then the more exposures the health department needs to follow up on,” says Highlander.

School board member, Highlander, says these closings are not ideal and that the board understands the impact that school closures have on parents and students,  but expressed the importance of following safety protocols.

“It’s certainly not convenient and I know that- and I hate it. It just makes life a lot more difficult and I really think about working parents. I just hope and pray that this virus will be able to be contained soon,” says Highlander.

The schools will continual virtual learning until they are considered “safe” to reopen.

For a link to the Hamilton county schools Covid-19 dashboard click here.

Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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