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Talbot Co. schools shut down amid rise in COVID cases

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 9:28 PM EDT
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TALBOTTON, Ga. (WTVM) - Only a week into the school year, Talbot County Schools have shut down after several students tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning.

Although it was abrupt, Central Elementary-High School‘s principal says it was a smooth transition.

Talbot County Schools found out about one student testing positive for COVID on Thursday. On Friday, the district shut down after learning 11 students tested positive for COVID-19.

“We want to try to keep everybody as safe as possible because this virus is spreading and it’s spreading rapidly,” said Principal Jonathan Taylor.

Students have been learning virtually since the shutdown, but that ends on Wednesday.

“I still say they should be at home doing the virtual learning, because it’s, like I said, not sure on how many more have it or who all have been tested,” said Ethel Harris, who has grandchildren who attend Talbot County Schools but wasn’t aware of the shut down.

“It’s harder here for us just to shut down part of a school or a class because we’re pre-K through 12 in this one building,” said Dr. Jack Catrett.

Dr. Fenton Dixon said going back virtual for a few days was easy because they used emergency assignments from last year.

“We call it the emergency lesson plans — the COVID-emergency lesson plans that they can put in place. Some of them have packets and some of them have the workbooks,” said Dr. Dixon, Director of Instructor & Special Education.

While some say it was a smooth transition, others say it was scary.

“The difference now in this outbreak that we see than the outbreak that happened last school year is that this seems to be more centered on kids…rather than adults so that scares me to death,” said Dr. Catrett.

With the entire school deep cleaned and children returning soon, Talbot County superintendent Dr. Catrett says he’s missed hearing students in the hallways.

”It’s hard on you. It’s hard on us. We want the kids here. We want them in school. The halls are empty today and it’s like, we miss the sound of the beautiful children here,” said Dr. Catrett.

Dr. Catrett says there will be another committee meeting today to discuss any updates regarding how many students have tested positive.

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