Hardin Valley Academy, Karns Middle School and Powell Middle School all have at least one confirmed COVID-19 case. Knox County Schools will not say how many cases are at each school, or whether the cases are students or staff, or both.
Knox News has obtained copies of emails sent by leaders at each school. All three letters use identical language except for the name of the person who sent the email and the name of the school.
Knox County Schools spokeswoman Carly Harrington confirmed each individual school sent communication to all families and staff.
“I am reaching out to let you know that we have been made aware of a confirmed COVID-19 case at our school,” the emails say. “The Knox County Health Department and KCS Health Services have identified those who were at risk of exposure and they have already been contacted.”
The emails also say the schools are taking extra efforts to clean and sanitize surfaces, and that anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact their primary care provider.
District administrators decided before in-person instruction began Monday, for the first time since mid-March, to make public a districtwide COVID-19 dashboard but not provide data on the school level. Harrington said last week Knox County schools is following state and federal medical privacy guidelines.
There are 21 active cases across the district with eight students and 13 staff members, according to the dashboard numbers updated Monday afternoon. There are 322 people in isolation or quarantine, which includes 281 students and 41 staff members.
Harrington did not say whether all schools will send an email to all families and staff every time an infection is discovered.
“At this time, based on our reopening plan, we indicated that we would communicate with families and staff and that is what we are doing,” Harrington said.
Knox News is tracking COVID-19 cases in Knox County Schools
Knox News is committed to tracking Knox County schools that have COVID-19 cases. Because the district’s reopening plan allows for individual school closures, we think it’s important to track school information. We also want to help tamp down rumors or inaccurate information.
We need the help of parents, students and teachers to make that happen. We’re seeking ears on the ground at every KCS school.
How can you help? If you receive an email about a positive COVID-19 case at your school, please forward the information to Isabel.Lohman@knoxnews.com. Or you can send us a tip on our online form.
And if you want to be part of the ongoing effort to track COVID-19 in our schools, please fill out this form so we can stay in touch. We will not share your identity or personal information.