EVANS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Evans County School District is taking a different approach to the school year following a recent outbreak in COVID-19 cases among students and faculty. The first day of school is set for Sept. 8.
Superintendent Marty Waters says they currently have 33 teachers that have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are in quarantine due to exposure. He says although they weren’t anticipating having to push the first day of school back, he says this will serve as a test run to see what safety protocols will work when classes do start.
The new approach Waters says they will take when they return is an A/B model, meaning students will attend classes two days a week and do virtual learning the other three.
He says they will do this for at least three weeks to give students and faculty an opportunity to social distance and help keep cases down.
After several students and faculty tested positive, Waters says they were able to trace the exposures and take care of it quickly.
“What we began to experience when teachers came back at the end of July was a large spike in our teacher populations. A couple of things that we didn’t anticipate was, really, the issues that happened beyond the work environment. We had some individuals in social settings, that’s where we believe it kind of initiated when they came in for meetings, although they were socially distanced there were some lunch dates and things like that, that led to the outbreak,” Waters said.
Waters hopes they will be back to a traditional five-day schedule on Sept. 28.
The teachers and students who tested positive are doing well and will finish quarantine by next week.
Other employees who also tested positive are also expected to be back at work at that time.