Stopping the spread: Greene County Schools again reports no COVID-19 activity
For the second time in four weeks, the latest Greene County School System COVID-19 Weekly Status Update shows the district had no COVID-19 cases, exposures, or quarantines occur among students or staff.
The district has not reported a positive COVID-19 case in over a month, and no cases have resulted from student-to-student transmission at school, proving the effectiveness of the health and safety precautions the school system has implemented for the 2020-2021 school year. This is promising news as Anita White Carson Middle School and Greene County High School prepare to bring students back to in-person instruction on October 26.
This positive trend is also in line with the overall decline the state of Georgia is seeing both in numbers of new COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate for PCR testing, despite an increase in overall testing numbers. Similarly, Greene County as a whole reported just 11 confirmed cases for the week of September 26-October 2, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
To do its part to help stop the spread, the Greene County School System implemented a detailed Plan for Maintaining Safe and Healthy Schools at the beginning of the school year. The plan is organized into six major areas of mitigation strategies: hygiene, symptom screening, cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing, transportation, and masks and face coverings.
“We know that in-person, face-to-face instruction is how students learn best, but we also know that students cannot attend school unless they are healthy,” said Dr. Chris Houston, superintendent. “So, we created a comprehensive approach to protecting the health of our students and staff in all areas of school life: in-classroom instruction, hallway transitions, restroom visits, mealtime, and transportation.”
Each category contains multiple health safety measures to prevent the spread of infection, including hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations located throughout each school, touchless water bottle refill stations to replace water fountains, self-cleaning Nanoseptic covers for high-touch surfaces such as door handles and counters, HVAC ionization units that purify a building’s air by reducing the pathogens and particles that circulate via air systems, and many more.
These strategies are in addition to now-standard practices of universal mask wearing among students and staff, 6 feet of social distancing between student desks, daily symptom checks such as temperature measurements, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting by custodians throughout the school day.
“I am so proud of how our students and staff work as a team every day to follow these procedures and protect each other as a school community,” Dr. Houston said. “These prevention strategies don’t work unless everyone plays their part, and our students and staff have shown that they are willing to have each other’s backs and share the responsibility of keeping our schools safe and healthy.”
The Greene County School System releases a weekly COVID-19 Status Update every Friday on the district’s website at www.greene.k12.ga.us/covid-19.