Tennessee to track, report COVID-19 cases in schools


Friendsville Elementary School students who eat breakfast in the cafeteria are distanced and other students go to the auditorium before classes on the first day of classes in Blount County. (Tom Sherlin/The Daily Times via AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (News Nation/WKRN) — An unprecedented school year has started for many Middle Tennessee districts. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the education landscape in many ways. Especially, when it comes to keeping schools safe.

As each district navigates the new normal during the pandemic, Governor Bill Lee said the state is working on protocols on how they will track and report positive COVID-19 cases in schools.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion,” said Lee. “I believe we have to protect privacy, but we also have to be transparent.”

Gov. Lee added the policy has not been finalized. He said he expects to release details of the plan next week.

The goal is to increase transparency around reporting COVID-19 cases in schools.

Last week the department of health said it would not be tracking school cases. The governor did not elaborate on what prompted the policy change.

Each school district has a reopening plan unique to their communities that includes a mix of traditional in-person learning and remote virtual learning. But, all parents were given the choice to enroll their children in virtual classes.

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