COVID-19 cases among area schools and institutions a concern as school resumes for the spring

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2022

BY NIC MILLER
STAR STAFF
nic.miller@elizabethton.com

Both Carter County and Elizabethton City Schools continue to update parents and the community on COVID-19 cases through online dashboards, which are updated daily.

As of Tuesday, 14 students in Elizabethton City Schools tested positive, including three at East Side Elementary; one at Harold McCormick Elementary; three at West Side Elementary; one at T.A. Dugger Junior High; and six at Elizabethton High School.

Six faculty members are confirmed as COVID-19 positive.

Carter County Schools reported on Tuesday that Hampton High School had seven positive cases among students and the district had a total of 32 positive cases. Carter County Schools reported 16 active cases among faculty members.

Both Elizabethton City Schools and Carter County Schools are following CDC and Tennessee Department of Health protocols in regard to quarantine protocols for students who test positive and when they can return to school. Both school systems are continuing to provide the options of masks while learning as well as using mitigation strategies such as frequent cleaning of common surfaces and encouraging hand washing.

More information for Elizabethton City Schools in their effort to prevent COVID-19 can be found on ecschools.net, while Carter County School’s COVID-19 dashboard can be found at carterk12.net/covid-19-information.

Students return to classes next week at East Tennessee State University. “By state law, we are not able to put in place a mask mandate for this spring semester,” said ETSU Student Government President Mason Mosier. “However, in an abundance of caution and as a means to keep everyone safe, we believe that students will continue to wear masks when returning to campus.

“We also hope that more people continue to get vaccinated, because when more people become vaccinated, it becomes less and less of a concern. Since that choice of being vaccinated is available, we hope to get back to a somewhat normal lifestyle and overcome this virus together,” said Mosier.

Across the region, COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise due to the Omicron variant, with Ballad Health reporting on Wednesday that there are 299 COVID patients in their hospitals, including 80 in the Intensive Care Unit and 60 patients on ventilators. There is also one reported pediatric COVID-19 patient at Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

Over the past week, Ballad Health has reported that there have been 101 COVID-19 related deaths in the 21 counties for which they provide service.