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Jefferson, Georgia, schools first in state to open for face to face teaching   The Newsy You: News of Today

Started Aug-1 by MerlinsDad; 2261 views.

From: MerlinsDad


I guess we'll soon know if children easily transmit Covid_19 or not.  This is a grand experiment.  There will be other systems to open soon.  This was merely the first in the state. I live east of Atlanta.  Jefferson is about 40-45 miles north east of where I live.

news item  https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/31/us/jefferson-schools-georgia-reopen/index.html

Schools in Jefferson, Georgia, welcomed students back into the classroom Friday (July 31) -- the first in the state to reopen for in-person learning. The four schools in the district, which are among the top-ranked in the state, have approximately 4,000 students enrolled in PK-12.

Indeed, at the high school many of the students were wearing masks, but just as many if not more were not wearing face coverings.

At the elementary school, most students seemed to enter the building with masks -- but not all.
"I know that there are guidelines for children's safety, but still, as a parent you're always concerned about your children, but we hope in God that everything will be alright," said Jaimes. She is now looking into whether she can still register her eighth-grade daughter for virtual learning.
Random temperature checks may be conducted, though students are expected to check their temperatures before going to school and stay home if they have a fever or are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms.
Schools will maintain social distancing "when feasible," and mealtimes will be coordinated to minimize the number of students in the cafeteria and allow for extra cleaning. Face masks are strongly encouraged, but not mandatory.
"It's scary because we don't know who's going to wear one and who's not. Someone could have it and not know and be asymptomatic and still spread it and not wear a mask. There's still so much unknown," said Hope Terhune, a 12th-grade student at Jefferson High School. Terhune and classmate Rylee Meadows started a petition for the Board of Education to mandate masks.
But an opposing petition was started soon after, asking that students be given the choice to wear a mask, or not. "I wanted to show the Board of Education, since they saw the other petition, that not everyone felt that way; that there were still people that thought we should have the choice," said Brett Kelley, a 10th-grade student at Jefferson High School.

grand experiment indeed.

I was seeing several articles that said children can really spread it asymptomatically like wildfire.



With a lot of conflicting information out there, I'd err on the side of caution, but I guess one good experiment will beat a whole lot of theory. If there's a horrible outbreak there in about 2 weeks, we'll know, hopefully in time to head it off in states that start school later.

Some groups of people will have to be the guinea pig.


From: MerlinsDad


The first article states that "the youngest group harbored between 10 times and 100 times more virus than the other two"  and that ". . . the results cannot speak to children’s ability to transmit the disease to others. . . ."

Like you, I would err on the side of excess caution until more is known.  Jefferson is a small town, relatively isolated.    Jackson County has had 936 cases with 13 deaths, although I haven't been able to determine whether they were concentrated in one or two outbreaks or spread over time and space.

I also found this that 311 positive tests of coronavirus in Jackson County in the past two weeks.

Sounds to me like the school system is taking a serious risk. 

It was mentioned that there is another school in another state that the first day of school was Thursday or Friday, and - <font = "Gomer Pyle"> Surprise, surprise, surprise </font> a kid who was busy not social distancing from anyone tested - <font = "Mr Rogers"> Now today's word, boys and girls, is Positive. </font>



From: Showtalk


But...there were almost no reported cases of transmission from children, it made the news and suddenly there are all these mysterious cases from children?  I’m not convinced.  How do they know the teachers aren’t the ones with coronavirus?

Also, this is going to be very bad for the public school system, as parents find or children are much better educated at home.

We don't, but then we also don't know a whole lot of things. Without a whole lot of very wide spread testing to discover asymptomatic cases, no one will ever really have a way to know. Then of course the drive-by media and various factions have been spinning what little is known for propaganda purposes since Day 1, so truly sorting out what is going on is kind of like Winston Smith looking at the figures in the Times for boot production.


From: MerlinsDad


Greenfield, Indiana

GREENFIELD, Ind. — A Greenfield student has tested positive for COVID-19 on the day the district returned to class.

Superintendent Dr. Harold Olin sent an email to parents of students at Greenfield-Central Junior High School Thursday, notifying them a student at the school had tested positive for the virus. Olin said the district was notified of the positive test by the Hancock County Health Department. 

The student reportedly attended school for part of the day Thursday, the first day of classes in Greenfield.

After learning of the test result, the district enacted its "Positive COVID-19 Test Protocol," including isolating the student at the junior high school's clinic and using the student's schedule to determine which students or staff with whom they may have come in close contact. That included transportation and extracurricular activities.

And what appears to be a whole bundle in Kentucky

Two students from Greater Clark County Schools have tested positive for coronavirus after the first week of school. The Clark County Health Department was notified Friday that a student from Charlestown High School had tested positive. On Saturday morning, it was notified that a New Washington High School student had also tested positive.

According to the health department, the Charlestown student got tested for COVID-19 Tuesday and was in school Wednesday and Thursday. The confirmed positive result came out late Thursday.

The New Washington student received a test Thursday and did not attend school Friday.

We didn’t know which schools or how soon it would be, but we just didn’t feel like that was realistic to think there wouldn’t be positive cases,” Clark County Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel said. “Obviously, we’d like to have as little of that as possible, but this was something that we considered inevitable.”

Lanesville Community Schools Superintendent Steve Morris also confirmed that four students from Lanesville Junior-Senior High School have tested positive since it opened schools on Wednesday. 

The first student tested positive Friday and three more cases were confirmed on Saturday.

The district's schools will all hold a virtual learning day on Monday and classes will resume in person Tuesday. Morris said that eighteen students will be on quarantine from the first case and additional 28 to 30 students will quarantine for 14 days as well.


The Clark County Health officer didn't sound particularly concerned.    As you know, Kentucky is McConnell's home state, although Beshear, the governor, is a Democrat. 

I found this news release from Kentucky, dated July 27.  Bolding is mine

Announced the closing of bars for two weeks, effective, Tuesday, July 28.

?Announced that restaurants will be limited to 25% of pre-pandemic capacity indoors; outdoor accommodations remain limited only by the ability to provide proper social distancing.

Recommended that public and private schools avoid offering in-person instruction until the third week of August



From: MerlinsDad


It seems to me that we got around to regularly testing children late in the sequence, like a month or six weeks ago.  This is an article from July 15 which implies that testing children is just now becoming prevalent.   There is still too much we don't know about Covid_19's impact on children or even their susceptibility to it. 

It's worrisome that we'll have to learn from the experience of opening the schools in various places.  A grand experiment indeed, as you stated in another post.

Testing children for coronavirus is becoming more prevalent as states reopen, posing challenges for parents, caregivers and medical providers in administering the test. Most hospitals now require patients to get a coronavirus nasal swab before any surgeries and procedures. Some summer camps and athletic programs are mandating children get tested. And day care centers and schools are considering imposing testing requirements for the fall.

“With more availability of testing, with schools looking at different models for opening, these tests are going to be a very common experience for children, like getting a vaccination,

A YMCA camp in Georgia has performed the experiment with these results (updated July 31).  Bolding is mine.

Some 260 cases of the coronavirus have been tied to attendees and staff at a North Georgia YMCA children’s camp in June, according to a report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the largest known superspreading events in the state.

The report details how COVID-19 spread rapidly among children and teens within the camp and raises questions about the effectiveness of safety protocols as school districts and colleges contemplate reopening for in-person instruction this fall.

YMCA Camp High Harbour, identified in the report as Camp A, suffered an outbreak at its Lake Burton location in late June. As of July 10, about 85 cases of the virus had been linked to the camp, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported, a figure that has since tripled.

The CDC study of 597 campers and staff from Georgia found the camp did not follow its guidance to require campers wear masks, though staff did.

Three-quarters of the 344 attendees and staff for whom the CDC was able to obtain test results tested positive for the virus.

The CDC said the overall attack rate of the virus was 44%, though the agency acknowledged that’s an undercount because it includes more than 250 for whom they had no results.

“This investigation adds to the body of evidence demonstrating that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and, contrary to early reports might play an important role in transmission,” the report said.

Schools are being more cautious, but it is my opinion that many school systems and parents are taking a great risk.

MerlinsDad said:

GREENFIELD, Ind. — A Greenfield student has tested positive for COVID-19 on the day the district returned to class

That's the one.

The instant I saw the city and state, that was the index keywords to recall the rest of it.

Yep, the summer camps that did open were the first canaries in the coal mine.

The public schools starting up, I would make book and place some large wagers that there will be a huge outbreak. Mostly because of the unknown asymptomatic super-spreaders out there.

Basic application of game theory suggests the risk vs reward ratio is unacceptably high, kind of like scenarios that many role playing gamers and by extension many video games, often bring up.

No one knows which doorway leads to the next dragon that can wipe out the entire party in the dungeon, but the super-spreaders are out there, and you don't know for sure which door they are behind. That's why in a game you can save it so when your character gets killed you can start over a few moves before the fatal event, and this time not open that door.

Real life unfortunately doesn't give you that kind of do-over to complete the level of the quest.