Local districts respond to new state COVID guidelines

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:40 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The last two years have been a state of constant change for our local school districts.

And more could be coming for schools on our Georgia side.

Parents like Megan Cunningham, have continued to homeschool their children.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Cunningham.

“I do plan on putting them back in school at some point when it might be safe,” said Cunningham.

She feels that won’t happen anytime soon after Governor Kemp released new COVID policies for our local school districts.

Governor Brian Kemp loosened requirements for contact tracing and teacher quarantines.

In the new policy, schools don’t have to contact trace anymore, a shortened quarantine, and more testing.

“I can’t... I can’t risk sending my kids back,” she said.

Columbia County is adapting to those new policies already.

Students and staff can return to school after five days without symptoms. After the five days, then they have to wear a mask for another five days.

“Hopefully it will help us keep people working and let us provide that in-person schooling,” said Superintendent Steven Flynt.

They plan on contact tracing and won’t be requiring a test to stay.

Meaning students and teachers can continue to be in class after being exposed.

“The only reason that we would need to make any adjustments would be if we had a lack of staffing,” said Flynt.

Across the county line, Richmond County isn’t looking at any changes.

“Wasn’t happy with it. I don’t think it was a good call,” said Shawnda Griffin, district one Richmond County School board member.

They will keep all of their current COVID protocols the same, regardless of what changes at the state level.

Both Columbia and Richmond counties say they are keeping a close eye on those school case numbers to make sure it’s safe to keep doors open.

“We’re not trying to put anyone, their health, the safety of our children in jeopardy,” said Griffin.

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