(Posted Dec. 8, 2020)
By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer
Following a change in health orders from Madison County Public Health on Dec. 2, Jefferson Local Schools has made a shift.
“It impacted us greatly,” said Superintendent William Mullett on Dec. 8. “We went back to school all day every day at Norwood (Elementary) and returned to a hybrid model at the high school and middle school. It is our hope to be able to stay in school for the next two weeks until the (winter) break.”
As for sports, they are back, as well. Mullett said games and practices returned to business as usual, albeit under protocols required by the health department. Those protocols include six feet of social distancing and wearing a mask.
“It is a fluid situation, and we’re taking things one day at a time,” he said.
A handful of staff members from different areas and in different buildings in the district tested positive for COVID-19, Mullett reported, but if the count does not rise dramatically, he said he feels the district will be fine.
Before Thanksgiving, Mullett said the positive case numbers were very low but have since risen slightly.
“We’re hanging in there,” he continued. “The people who tested positive weren’t in school, so the numbers are coming from outside our school community.”
On Dec. 2, the Madison County Public Health board voted to rescind two previous orders that closed school buildings and suspended sports and extracurricular activities.
In place of the orders, the board issued two public health advisories recommending the same actions. The first public health advisory was issued to all schools in Madison County recommending that they close their school buildings until Jan. 1, 2021, due to the high incidence of COVID-19 in the county.
Schools that remain open must meet the six-foot social distancing rule between students/staff not of the same household and follow all other local and state safety operational guidelines.
A second public health advisory was issued to all schools, sports teams, and related organizations in Madison County recommending that they suspend all school sports, club sports, travel sports, league sports, school extracurriculars, and school activities until Jan. 1, 2021, due to the high incidence of COVID-19 in the county.
Sports and extracurriculars that continue must meet all local and state safety operational guidelines.