2 Tennessee school districts temporarily close due to COVID

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(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Two Tennessee school districts have announced temporarily closures due to COVID-19 cases.

Sumner County School District announced Wednesday that students will be taking classes from Sept. 7 to 10 to “help mitigate the community spread of COVID-19 among students and staff.”

The district is using “inclement weather days” for the temporary closure. There won’t be any in-person or online instruction during that time period and school will resume on Sept. 13. Extracurricular activities will go on during the pause.

“We encourage everyone to practice safe, healthy measures during this break to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community,” the district said in a statement.

Of the 2,444 cases reported from Aug. 17 to 30 in Sumner County, 868 were among school-age children between 5 and 18 years old, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

Marion County School District also announced they will close from Thursday through Sept. 10 for “intensive cleaning and COVID-19 numbers.” All extra curricular activities will also be suspended through Sept. 13.

Marion County Schools has a mandatory mask mandate with a parental opt-out, Dr. Mark Griffith, director of Marion County Schools, said in a video message on Facebook to parents last week.

“Kids are wearing masks and doing what they’re supposed to do, we’re pleased to say that’s been a success so far,” he said.

He cited 116 COVID-19 cases among students across the county last week.

Neither school district has a public COVID-19 dashboard recording how many students and staff have tested positive for the virus.

The two new closures come one week after Wilson County Schools and Rutherford County Schools announced COVID-19 closures as well, according to Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN.

COVID-19 cases among children have skyrocketed since May 2021, with 31,594 cases among 5- to 18-year-olds reported in the past 14 days, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

Tennessee has seen cases and hospital admissions surge along with a sobering trend across the country. Hospitalizations have hit their highest point in more than seven months with nearly 104,000 patients across the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pediatric COVID-19 admissions have also surged and school mask mandates have become the center of debates, especially as children under the age of 12 are still not eligible for the vaccine.

On average, nearly 340 children are now seeking hospital care for COVID-19 each day, according to the latest government data.

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