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WCS releases school-specific COVID-19 data

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Johnson Elementary student COVID-19 face mask

A Johnson Elementary School student wears a face mask in class during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Williamson County School District changed the way it reports COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, listing confirmed cases and exposure-related quarantines specific to each school.

Since Sept. 1, the district has been releasing COVID-19 case numbers updated every Tuesday at 3 p.m. on its website's COVID-19 page. The numbers have shown student positive cases, staff positive cases, student quarantines and staff quarantines districtwide.

As of Tuesday, the district released a list showing the number of confirmed cases and quarantined individuals in each school. While families will now be able to see school-specific information every week, cases are not separated into student numbers and staff numbers.

As of Tuesday, Page High had the highest number of quarantined students and staff at 524 and the highest number of students and staff in isolation due to a positive test at 17. WCS Superintendent Jason Golden said Monday during a county meeting that COVID-19 seems to be concentrated in the high schools.

This statement followed the closure of three WCS high schools in one week — Page, Independence and Summit — and the announcement of a transition to remote learning for all or some of the students at Hillsboro Middle and Crockett Elementary. All five schools are expected to return to campus on Tuesday after fall break.

As of Tuesday, Independence had the second-highest COVID-19 impact with 281 quarantines and 15 confirmed cases, and Summit had 171 quarantines with six cases. Hillsboro School had 84 quarantines with fewer than five cases, and Crockett Elementary had 23 quarantines with fewer than five cases.

True to Golden's statement, Ravenwood and Franklin high schools had high quarantine numbers — 151 and 149, respectively — but were not transitioned fully to remote learning.

The confirmed cases reported by WCS make up 16% to 33% of the 520 total active cases in Williamson County reported by the Tennessee Department of Health as of Tuesday. Because the district does not report exact case numbers for schools with fewer than five cases, the district could have had anywhere from 83 to 170 confirmed cases.

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