MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools returned to class on Monday and it's encouraging families to "stay the course" as more than 3,600 kids in Shelby County have COVID-19.
Sunday night, 595 new pediatric cases were reported in the county, bringing the total to 3,657 active cases among kids.
SCS is reminding families and staff masks will still be required for everyone in all SCS buildings regardless of vaccination status.
"In September 2021, amid changes to mask legislation, Shelby County Schools (SCS) stayed the course and the Tennessee Department of Health reported SCS and Metro Nashville as having the lowest cumulative COVID-19 case rates in the state (citing school districts that require masks in class have the lowest coronavirus rates for children ages 0-18 years old)," SCS superintendent Dr. Joris Ray said.
SCS will continue contact tracing so families and staff can be alerted if they have come in contact with an infected person.
The school district is encouraging everyone who is eligible to get fully vaccinated.
Virtual school will not be an option per a rule from the Tennessee Board of Education.
"We want to issue a reminder that based on a 2021 Tennessee State Board of Education rule, entire school districts are NOT permitted to transition to full remote/virtual instruction," Ray said. "Individual schools may seek waivers of this rule, but in several instances, waivers have not been granted by the Tennessee Department of Education."
Starting January 17, SCS will offer weekly nasal swab testing at each school and SCS headquarters in Midtown. Parents must give consent to having their child tested. You can find the form here.