Georgia school district shuts down within a week of opening due to COVID-19

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TALBOTTON, Ga. (WRBL) – The Talbot County School District held a county-wide threat committee meeting on August 9, 2021 to discuss the level of threat with COVID-19 cases they are facing. It was decided that the school district is facing a high level threat. After shutting down on Friday, August 6, 2021 the school should remain closed until at least Thursday, August 12, 2021.

Superintendent of the Talbot County School District, Dr. James Catrett, describes this has been the most challenging part of his career.

“At this stage of the game, first week of school, we hated that it shut down but again, safety is our number one issue,” said Catrett.

Within the first week since starting the 2021-2022 school year, the school district shut down due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases among students. 11 students out of 458 reported testing positive between August 3, 2021 and August 8, 2021.

Catrett said the school district began contact tracing within the school and depending on how many students were exposed, the return to school may be extended. He also said that over 90% of the school staff is vaccinated and put a mask mandate for students in effect again as a precautionary measure.

Central High School also canceled their first football game of the season and Catrett said although it makes him sad not to have the children in school he must emphasize their safety.

“It’s terrible not to have them here. When you walk through our halls it’s sad, there’s no children,” said Catrett.

He hopes this outbreak will be contained quickly so students can get back to school and is grateful to the community for their understanding.

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