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New State COVID-19 Dashboard Tracks Active Cases by School District

Yesterday, the Tennessee Department of Education launched a new dashboard that includes the number of active cases of COVID-19 in schools across the state. The dashboard breaks down the numbers of students and staff who are ill, according to Penny Schwinn, Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner.

The dashboard, found here has interactive maps and menus, will be updated weekly by state education officials, and school districts are expected to communicate their data with the department. The state will not report data for schools with fewer than 50 students enrolled and will not report the specific number of cases if fewer than five persons are actively sick.

The dashboard will be a way for Cheatham County parents to learn about the active cases in the school district, as the district “is not sharing any information about positive COVID-19 cases” due to privacy concerns, according to Tim Adkins, Communications Director.

“However, if a positive case is identified in a school, we will conduct contact tracing in conjunction with the Cheatham County Health Department and all students and staff members who have been exposed will be notified,” Adkins said.

“As we have repeatedly stated throughout our reopening process, we regularly seek guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Tennessee Department of Health, and the information we receive from them continually changes. Therefore, our plan is fluid, and we will continue to make any recommended changes as needed to our reopening plan,” he said.

“After further guidance from the Tennessee Department of Health, a two-day closure may not be necessary when a positive COVID-19 case is identified as we will treat each case independently based on an individual’s exposure – meaning the date of an individual’s diagnosis will determine if a school is closed for two days. It will be handled on a case-by-case basis,” Adkins said.

“Efforts of prevention and mitigation are also continuous in our buildings. All rooms have been provided with EPA-registered products and get cleaned by staff in between each group of students daily. If a student is sent home from school with possible COVID, their personal area is also cleaned with these products immediately. Students are washing their hands more often and wearing face covers when social distancing is not possible,” he added.

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