More school buildings closed & reporting school Covid-19 cases

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Hamilton County is closing two more schools for cleaning on Friday.

“Barger Academy and Lookout Valley Middle/High will also be closed for cleaning and contact tracing.”

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CSAS and Loftis Middle were closed today and Friday for cleaning after Covid-19 cases linked to their schools.

Tonight’s statement does not explain the Covid-19 connection to the new schools.

But students were staying home for remote learning anyway at those schools.

All four buildings will reopen on Monday.

This could be a regular feature of school life with Covid-19 this fall.

So the school system has created a new dashboard to keep the community up to date on Covid activity at schools.

You can find it here.

But at the moment, it does not include the new schools.

The issue of reporting Covid-19 cases is much bigger than just Hamilton County.

Tennessee is also posting a Covid-19 schools dashboard online, but it is not delivering information on school cases quite yet.

So far, the dashboard posts opening information, but not local Covid-19 cases. Today the administration explained that the goal is for schools to input that information daily to the state website (see video from today’s press conference).

You enter the name of the school at the bottom, but as you see, the data is now several days old. But officials promise daily results eventually.

The Tennessean is reporting that out of the 109 school districts that have reopened so far, there have been at least 97 reported Covid-19 cases.

In our area, Hamilton, Rhea and Bradley County have reported positive tests connected to their schools.

But each system is handling the reporting differently and only Bradley is actually giving numbers publicly.

Still none of the Tennessee cases have been outbreaks like the ones we’re seeing in middle Georgia.