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Knox Co. Board of Health: There will be students who get COVID-19

The Knox County Board of Health during a Wednesday meeting discussed the upcoming school year saying, “there will be students who get COVID-19.”
Schools prepare for kids to return to the classroom amid the pandemic
Schools prepare for kids to return to the classroom amid the pandemic(WDBJ7)
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 9:10 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2020 at 11:16 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knox County Board of Health during a Wednesday meeting discussed the upcoming school year saying that students testing positive for COVID-19 is inevitable.

“We all know we’re about to embark on what will probably be one of the biggest single factors to impact the system at once and that’s the gradual opening of schools as well as universities,” said Dr. James Shamiyeh. “We’re going to have some students be positive, that’s going to happen, but thinking about what the demand of resources will be if a student goes to five or six classes...”

The board said it’s concerned the influx of college and Knox County students heading back to school might impact its contact tracing system, which the board relies heavily on to get ahead of a spread.

Knox County Schools representative Lisa Wagoner said 80 additional school nurses have been trained in contact tracing to help stop the spread of the virus.

“I feel confident that we can handle it,” said Wagoner. “We know about a positive case before we get the case ID number or before the health department knows about it and so once we know about it, we automatically put the contacts under quarantine.”

Wagoner said Knox County Schools will follow the recommendations laid out by the health department here.

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