SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools board of education held their first regular meeting of the new year.
During the meeting, Superintendent Ann Levett gave a COVID-19 operational update for the district.
What stood out when talking numbers and the spread of COVID-19, all of the categories the district uses as indicators to determine things like the necessity for virtual learning are in the red, and much higher than were they were before the holiday break.
When school dismissed for the holiday break last month, the daily case rate per 100,000 Chatham County residents was 26. That number has jumped up to 43.7.
Percentage of positive tests are also up.
“On December the 18th we were at 11.9, we’re now at 14.2,” said Dr. Levett.
Dr. Levett said also on December 18th, the Community Transmission Index was at 342. That number is now 536.
And as long as the benchmarks stay high, student learning won’t go back to normal.
Dr. Levett said, “All of us are hoping, and for those of us who pray, praying that things will settle down so that we will be able to see our young people face to face. I think all of us who read and listen know that we will not be going back immediately to pre-COVID conditions.”
Dr. Levett said last week 86 school district employees had contracted the virus, 208 were in quarantine.
“Thank you to everyone, teachers, staff, faculty, all the district workers as well for continuing to work through such a tiring time, a difficult time,” said Dr. David Bringman, Dist. 6 board member.
The District’s leaders are hopeful that as more people get the COVID vaccine, by fall, student instruction may more closely resemble pre-pandemic learning.
Dr. Levett said the District is also beefing up counseling services for students who still may be processing last week’s events in D.C. or the negative impacts of the pandemic.