JEFFERSON, Ga. — Students in Jefferson will return to school, in person, for the first day of school today.
The district's roughly 4,000 students across four schools will be asked to wear masks where social distancing is "not feasible" as well as take their own temperature before going to school, wash their hands often and stay home from school if sick.
The school system's plan for students or staff outlines a waiting period of "at least 14 days from the last day of close contact with the person with confirmed Covid-19" if someone is exposed.
Those with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid and who develop symptoms can return to school or work three days after their fever has passed, their respiratory symptoms improve and as long as 10 days have passed since their first symptoms appeared.
For those who are asymptomatic, they may return to work or school 10 days after their positive test as long as they remain asymptomatic.
"Each individual school will have additional safety measures (e.g., traffic flow patterns, arrival/dismissal, cafeteria and transportation procedures) in place that will be communicated to parents/guardians prior to the start of school," a note from the district earlier this month said. "Each classroom will be equipped with a cleaning kit to provide additional protection for students and staff throughout the school day. In addition, the school system will be providing additional safety supplies (e.g., hand sanitizer stations, directional arrows, social distancing signage) for each building."
The district adds it "has employed a Nurse Practitioner who will serve as the system-level point of contact for all COVID-19 cases."
The school system said it would make accommodations for those students "considered high risk and/or have extenuating circumstances that may necessitate an alternative plan for instruction."
"We are depending on you to keep our kids healthy," one parent said in a reply to a school system tweet yesterday. "Praying for a safe and healthy school year for all!"
Jackson County, where Jefferson is located, has seen 311 confirmed cases in the last two weeks, according to Georgia Department of Public Health data, giving them a rate of 416.3 cases per 100,000 residents - about in the middle range of Georgia counties.
There have been 13 deaths in Jackson County since the start of the pandemic.