Columbia County Schools track positive COVID cases for concerned parents

Columbia County

#UPDATED VERSION:

EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) — Columbia County School Officials will be keeping track of weekly reports of COVID positive cases broken down by school and whether the case is a student or staff member.

“We decided that it probably be best if we could have a place to provide as much information without giving out people’s privacy so that people can see,” explained Dr. Sandra Carraway.

This is part of the school district’s efforts to help deflate fears among parents and citizens concerned about the county’s decision to begin school in early August, partially in person and online. The Superintendent of Columbia County Schools says the chart will not reveal any personal information of its students and employees.

“If there child were in danger of contracting the virus by had been around that student, they would now it,” said Dr. Carraway. “Because we would have contacted them, and their child would be quarantined for 14 days, as required by the CDC.”

If someone at a school tests positive for COVID-19, contact is made, and follow up letters are sent for those who have been in direct contact with the person. Families with no connection to the virus-positive person will not receive a message from the district.

“Now, we will be reporting to our public by having the number, not the name, appear on this chart,” said Dr. Carraway.

The School Superintendent told NewsChannel 6 reporter, Devin Johnson, the goal of the chart is to show people that schools in Columbia County are safe during this pandemic, and will not contribute to the spread of the virus.

“I will still argue schools are probably the safest places you can be,” said Dr. Carraway.

Each Friday, the district will post by the school, the total number of students and school personnel confirmed with positive COVID-19 test results that week.

Click here to see the CCSD Coronavirus Response.


COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Columbia County School officials are encouraging parents to spend time on the district website for answers to many of their questions.

In a notice to media outlets today, the school system announced it will be keeping track of weekly reports of COVID positive cases broken down by school and whether the case is a student or staff member.

The chart will be updated weekly, and the narrative information included on the site will be the number of people who are in a 10 day window of being identified as a COVID positive. According to the CDC, someone who tests positive for the virus must remain isolated for 10 days and cannot return to school or work until substantially symptom free for at least 24-hours.

Columbia County made the move to include the data as part of it’s effort to help quell fears among some parents and citizens concerned about the county’s decision to begin school in early August partially in person and online. 

In a statement the district says, “Because the Columbia County School District has approximately 3400 employees and more than 28,000 students, unfortunately, it can be expected that there will be instances of positive cases of COVID 19 as long as there are instances in our community.  Hopefully, these will be on a very limited basis given expectations of our Collective Responsibility agreement located on the School District website. We want all of our stakeholders to feel informed and more importantly, confident that they or their children are as safe as possible while at school.”

The chart, released today and which can be found here will be changed and tweaked as the school system works to provide information while ensuring the personal privacy of its students and employees are maintained according to the law.

Currently, if someone at a school tests positive for COVID contact is made and follow up letters are sent for those people who have been in direct contact with the person.  Families with no
connection to the virus positive person will NOT receive a letter from the district.

For a look at the entire district wide return to school plan, you can click here 

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