On the morning of Jan. 4, Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna released a statement to faculty and parents regarding the current status of schools amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new semester, which also began on Jan. 4, will continue to operate as previously with no major changes as outlined in the statement, which was sent to parents over email and released on the district’s social media platforms.
According to Hanna, as of Dec. 18 there were 246 students and 58 employees who had tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed to the virus and were “finishing a quarantine period.” All school campuses in Leon County have remained empty since school let out for winter break.
Hanna also emphasized that while the reported numbers are indeed higher than from the start of the school year, the increase could be attributed to the “high number of people in [the] community who tested before holiday gatherings.”
“When I asked the health department if we needed to do anything different, their advice was for us to continue following our Safe Start Plan,” Hanna wrote in the memo. The Safe Start Plan, which has been in place since the start of the 2020-2021 school year on Aug. 31, consists of several protocols for handling the spread of the coronavirus.
As school resumes in the new year, students and parents are advised to monitor any symptoms and continue the practices of wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing hands.
“We will continue to monitor every class, at every school, every day and notify you of any changes,” Hanna promised.