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24 Williamson schools continue remote learning this week as county cases spike

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WCS School bus

A Williamson County Schools bus

As Williamson County and the state as a whole experience a spike in COVID-19 cases, 24 Williamson County Schools have either fully or partially transitioned to remote learning until after Thanksgiving break.

While active cases in Williamson County have risen steadily since the beginning of October, the curve steepened in early November, surpassing the county’s all-time-high this week. Monday’s case data, as reported by the Tennessee Department of Health, showcased the largest single-day spike in both the county (up 242 active cases) and statewide (up 7,951 total cases).

Likewise, Williamson County Schools, which reports its COVID-19 numbers weekly, saw an increase of 70 active cases from Monday, Nov. 9, to Monday, Nov. 16., representing a 39% increase in active cases. Quarantined students and staff only increased by 6% over last week as of Monday.

In total, Williamson County has 1,634 active cases (of 9,892 total) as of Tuesday, and WCS reported 193 students and 56 staff members in isolation with a positive test as of Monday. WCS also reported that 2,387 students and 186 staff members were quarantined as of Monday due to exposure to the virus.

Listed below are all the schools learning remotely until after Thanksgiving break due to increased COVID-19 numbers, as of Wednesday morning, along with their respective positive case and quarantine numbers as of Monday.

• Bethesda Elementary early childhood students from one class (fewer than five cases; 32 quarantines)

• Brentwood Middle (18 positive cases; 49 quarantines)

• Chapman’s Retreat Elementary (fewer than five cases; 27 quarantines)

• Fairview Elementary kindergarteners through fifth-graders (fewer than five cases; 26 quarantines)

• Fairview Middle (fewer than five cases; 70 quarantines)

• Franklin High (19 cases; 172 quarantines)

• Grassland Middle (six cases; 67 quarantines)

• Heritage Middle (fewer than five cases; 22 quarantines)

• Independence High (17 cases; 230 quarantines)

• Jordan Elementary kindergarteners through fifth-graders and one early childhood class (fewer than five cases; 76 quarantines)

• Legacy Middle (fewer than five cases; 77 quarantines)

• Longview Elementary kindergarteners through fifth-graders and early childhood (fewer than five cases; 49 quarantines)

• Mill Creek Middle (seven cases; 35 quarantines)

• Nolensville High (six cases; 20 quarantines)

• Page High (11 cases; 287 quarantines)

• Page Middle (10 cases; 87 quarantines)

• Ravenwood High (29 cases; 34 quarantines)

• Scales Elementary early childhood (fewer than five cases; 55 quarantines)

• Spring Station Middle (six cases; 27 quarantines)

• Summit High (12 cases; 34 quarantines)

• Sunset Elementary kindergarteners through fifth-graders (fewer than five cases; 22 quarantines)

• Sunset Middle (six cases; 167 quarantines)

• Walnut Grove Elementary (fewer than five cases; 36 quarantines)

• Westwood Elementary kindergarteners through fifth-graders (six cases; 107 quarantines)

Because WCS has about 40,000 students, these numbers change daily, and some transitions to remote learning are due to a concentration of positive cases among staff.

WCS Superintendent Jason Golden shared during Monday’s Board of Education meeting that, even though about 0.7% of the county actively has the virus, “because not every school needs to go remote, we are not going to remote at this point.”

“We might do it if we have to, but we’re going to be very careful and thoughtful when we do,” he added, saying during last week’s school board work session that the district found “a lot of wisdom” in addressing closures on a school-by-school basis.

WCS with the Franklin Special School District, Williamson Medical Center, the Williamson County Health Department and Williamson, Inc. released a joint statement Monday, once again asking the community to take steps to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“As we face an increasingly rapid spread of the virus, these measures are crucial for the protection of our healthcare system, already burdened with the management of available capacity, including beds and staff, to accommodate not only COVID-19 patients, but also patients with other urgent health needs,” the statement reads.

As of Tuesday, 12% of intensive-care-unit beds and 15% COVID-19 floor beds were available statewide. According to the state health department, there were over nearly 2,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide, 154 of which were in Williamson County as of Tuesday.

“Although opinions and personal experiences related to the virus vary, we must do what we can to protect our community through personal responsibility and measures to reduce virus spread,” the statement continues. “Adhere to the county mask mandate that face coverings be worn by those over two years of age in public settings. Wearing a mask not only protects others, but according to new information from the CDC, can also protect the wearer.”

For more information on COVID-19 cases, visit williamsonready.org/306/Local-COVID-19-Case-Datatn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html and wcs.edu/covid-19.

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