Local parents, administrators react to updated COVID-19 guidelines for schools

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 10:47 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Some parents in the Fountain City have raised concerns about some of the latest COVID guidelines for schools. Thursday, Governor Brian Kemp tweeted a letter with some of those updated guidelines.

With the surge in new COVID cases throughout the Peach State, comes new guidance for the Governor to reduce its spread throughout schools.

“We have followed CDC guidelines all along. So, you know, we didn’t really need it coming from the Governor’s office necessarily,” said Troup County Schools Superintendent Brian Shumate.

Thursday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp tweeted a letter stating school employees don’t have to quarantine after being exposed to COVID, regardless of vaccination status as long as the employee has no symptoms and wears a mask.

The letter is signed by Governor Kemp and Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Some parents we spoke with say they are worried about their children’s safety.

“Our parents here work with us pretty well and if they have concerns, they talk to their principal...We do offer a virtual option,” said Shumate.

The letter also says contact tracing is now optional for Georgia schools. That means schools are no longer required to notify any student or staff if someone has been in close contact with another person who has tested positive for COVID.

Both Governor Kemp and Brian Shumate say the ultimate goal is to keep children in school and implementing measures to ensure their safety.

“In Troup County, we’ve been in school all along. We started last August of 2020 and other than a few days, we were in school the entire year,” explained Shumate.

One parent says allowing teachers exposed to COVID to still work, could make the entire classroom sick.

Georgia schools are still required to report positive cases to the Department of Public Health.

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