After extensive dialogue with Georgia Department of Public Health, the Meriwether County Schools has been informed of the following regarding the current COVID-19 situation in Meriwether:
· COVID incident trends have spiked in December, 2020 and so far in January, 2021. The current spike (December, 2020 and January, 2021) is 3 (three) times that of the July, 2020 spike.
· The COVID-19 positivity rate for Meriwether County is 26.1% (over 1 in 4 test positive for COVID-19). The positivity rate in July, 2020 was 7.7% (normal positivity rate is 5%).
· The COVID-19 transmission level for Meriwether County is 766 (cases per capita based on a population of 100,000). A transmission level of 100 is considered a “high spread” by the Georgia Department of Public Health. Meriwether County is at 766.
· The Meriwether County death rate is high, and middle school and high school-aged children are highly contributing to the COVID-19 spread in these cases.
· Limiting sports-related activities will help keep the COVID-19 spread low in our communities and Meriwether County.
· Traditional (in-person) learning is reasonable for students in grades K-5 based on previous and current numbers related to the spread of COVID-19 in Meriwether County.
· Quarantining is still required for those who have received the COVID-19 vaccination.
After this extensive dialogue with the Georgia Department of Public Health and consultation with Meriwether County school leaders and nurses, the Meriwether County Schools will implement the following procedures until Tuesday, January 19, 2021:
· All academic instruction at BOTH the Middle School and High School levels will continue to be remote learning through Friday, January 15, 2021 (Monday, January 18, 2021, is the MLK Holiday). Traditional instruction will resume for in-person learners on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
· Traditional instruction will be available at BOTH the Elementary Schools beginning Monday, January 11, 2021. It is completely up to the parents whether or not to send their children who are current traditional learners to school the week of January 11-15, 2021. Parents of traditional learners who choose not to attend next week need to make their child’s school aware. All 21st Century Program activities will occur as well the week of January 11-15, 2021.
· All sports related activities are canceled, effective immediately, until Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
· The staff at each school will be in touch with all students regarding remote learning as soon as feasible regarding instruction for the week of January 11-15, 2021. All Meriwether County Schools’ staff will be on each campus daily and available for students and parents all week (January 11-15, 2021).
· Meals for current remote learners will be disbursed as normal the week of January 11-15, 2021. An announcement will be made regarding meals for current traditional learners the week of January 11-15, 2021.
Thank you for your patience and support as we take measures to address the safety and well-being of our staff and students. Meriwether County Schools will continue to consult with the Georgia Department of Public Health and monitor current data regarding the current situation with COVID-19. If needed, we will make an announcement in the event of any further updates.