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Schools face lull in COVID cases amidst drop in quarantine regulations

By Meg Dickens
Freelance Writer

Covid-19 regulations have constantly changed as more information and variants come to light.
It seems like the organization hit hardest by this type of change is public education. Government at all levels has been discussing whether or not masks, vaccinations, and other mandates can be inforced. At this point, it seems that the majority of these regulations have been cut. The most recent change has been the end of quarantines, although whether the practice will be reinstated is yet to be seen.
Quarantine regulations have been the subject of student and parent complaints for many months. Several parents attended the last few school board meetings to demand change.
During the November meeting, officials discussed legislation passed by Governor Bill Lee that limits regulations and takes quarantine rules out of the hands of businesses, schools, and organizations.
The official word from the state has not come down as of the December meeting, but previous quarantine regulations did expire. According to Director of Schools Mischelle Simcox, COVID cases are in a lull and the only quarantining required is from in-home contacts, which the local health department determines.
According to Simcox and the Covid-19 Dashboard, 17 students and no staff members are currently suffering from COVID. Considering the drop despite removing quarantine regulations, Chairman Howard Carlton suggested that Simcox reaches out at her Board of Directors’ meeting on Wednesday to see if they can put out a recommendation that quarantine stays as it is currently.
“Let’s see what the pleasure of the boards is,” Carlton announced. “It seems to be working extremely well without it. I know it’s been a point of contention for the past year for just about everyone. We’re doing extremely well, and I would also credit that partially to the principals, staff, bus drivers, and all of you for making sure your schools are clean and proper procedures are being taken.”
Contentions over possible mandates for headstart are still in place. At this time, the Johnson County School Board reports that it does not support these unless word from state government requires it.
To hear the full discussion on quarantine regulations, visit the Johnson County TN Schools YouTube channel and view the November and December meetings.