COVID-19 has been confirmed inside both Robert E. Lee Elementary School and Tullahoma High School, according to Tullahoma City Schools officials.
Director of Schools Catherine Stephens confirmed to The News that notification had been sent out to parents at the elementary and high school regarding a positive case at each school.
Whether the cases were from students or employees of each school was not provided to The News, citing “health privacy laws.”
The letters reportedly went out to parents via email Wednesday evening. The emails state the principal was made aware of the positive case, “your child may have been exposed to this virus” and that they would be contacted by the health department “should you or your child need to take further action.”
Not every class receives the emails, according to Stephens. Instead, a coordinated team determines which classes need to receive the information.
“When we are notified of a positive COVID case, the school nurse, in conjunction with the administrator and district school health liaison, identify which classes need to be notified of the possible exposure,” Stephens told The News.
That notification is then sent via email or hard copy to the parents and relays the date of the possible exposure.
The email also details several of the common symptoms of the virus that parents would need to watch for, including fever or chills, a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, a new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting and more.
According to the email for Robert E. Lee parents, the date of possible exposure was Monday, Aug. 3 – the fourth day of school in Tullahoma.
Parents who received the emails were encouraged to contact their respective school nurses should they have any questions.
Additionally, if their children were to exhibit any of the symptoms of the virus, they were recommended to consult with their family healthcare provider.
“Please know that the health and safety of your child is our top priority,” the emails end.
With the positive case in TCS, all three school systems in the county now have at least one positive case within their systems.
Coffee County Schools announced an employee had tested positive July 31, before students returned to classrooms in Manchester and then closed Coffee County Middle School and North Coffee Elementary School “out of an abundance of caution” over the virus.
According to CCS Director Charles Lawson, school officials did not want to risk bringing students back to a building where they “could not guarantee minimum risk of exposure to COVID-19.” He added there had not been “any type of significant spread” in any school but wanted to take every available precaution for the safety and protection of students.
Manchester City Schools announced Tuesday, Aug. 4 that an employee in its system had tested positive. The announcement said the Coffee County Health Department was working to identify, contact and quarantine anyone who may have been in “close contact” with the individual.
MCS added that students who were present at the Aug. 3 registration were not considered “close contact” individuals.
Erin McCullough may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.