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Jackson, Roane schools address COVID cases

2 positive tests at Spencer Elementary, 1 at Gilmore

SPENCER — Schools in Jackson and Roane counties are following all protocols and keeping students and teachers informed after receiving confirmation from local health departments of positive COVID-19 cases.

After hearing of two positive cases from Spencer Elementary School, Roane County Schools were closed Tuesday to allow for contact tracing and investigations, according to a press release from the school district.

Staff also conducted a thorough cleaning of the building with special equipment made for COVID-19 cleanings.

The positive cases are one student and one staff member of the same family.

“The confirmed cases are believed to have resulted from family interactions, as the individuals were tested after another family member tested positive, and not from infection transmissions within the school,” the release said.

Jackson County Schools also released information Monday evening about a positive case at Gilmore Elementary in Sandyville.

The individual did not ride a bus, according to a release from Jackson County Schools, and students in one classroom have been placed in quarantine.

The Jackson County Health Department contacted all those who were exposed to the individual and completed the investigation.

For increased safety, the school system conducted an additional sanitization of the classroom, cafeteria and restrooms.

“To keep our schools open to our children, it will take our entire community following established COVID-19 protocols including handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, use of face coverings and practicing social distancing,” the release said. “We appreciate your ongoing support and commitment to the health and well-being of the Jackson County Schools Community.”

Calhoun County Schools Superintendent Kelli Whytsell said one of their employees is in quarantine after they were exposed to a positive case. The employee did not test positive but is in quarantine as a precaution, she said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time. Together we can get through these challenging times by continuing to support each other,” Whytsell said.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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