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Dekalb Return To In-Person Delayed Til November 16

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Dekalb Return To In-Person Delayed Til November 16

Dekalb County Schools will not return to in-person learning until at least November 16 after COVID cases among staff and faculty continue to rise.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps said over the weekend calls started coming in about employees testing positive, making Wednesday’s original return date unfeasible. Cripps said he knew going into the year if employees started testing positive, those positions would be difficult to fill.

“When this first started, our concern with when we would shut the schools down would be affected by substitutes, bus drivers and cafeteria staff,” Cripps said. “We knew that we were short on substitutes.”

Cripps said he did not have the current number of cases among staff. However, Cripps said he knows it is a system wide problem.

“It’s continuing to change daily, I wish it wasn’t in our schools at all but I can’t say that it’s just one school,” Cripps said. “I mean each school has a pocket where it has been affected by the COVID.”

Cripps said he’s concerned about how Thanksgiving break and flu season will affect in-person learning. Cripps said masks are required and protocols can be put in place but the school system loses control when people leave the building.

“That’s the concern you have each time there’s something different coming up, we knew when Halloween was coming we kind of expected an increase in numbers of positive cases,” Cripps said. “Now with Thanksgiving coming up we expect another increase after Thanksgiving and then you’ve got flu season coming on, we’re battling a lot of different things at one time.”

Cripps said returning on November 16 is not a sure thing. Cripps said they will continue to monitor the numbers as they approach that date.

“It’s unfortunate but we’re gonna try and get our kids back in school, that’s the best place for them to be,” Cripps said. “We just hope to move forward and you know we’ll just have to play the hand that’s dealt to us.”


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