Rising number of active coronavirus cases moves Williamson County Schools to 'medium' spread back-to-school scenario

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
(Community Impact Newspaper staff)

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)

More than 3,300 new coronavirus cases were reported July 13 in Tennessee, the largest single-day increase to date, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health.

While the majority of cases still remain in large counties, such as Shelby and Davidson counties, Williamson County has the sixth-highest number of cases. The TDH reported it also saw its largest single-day increase July 13, rising from 1,763 to 1,939, a nearly 10% increase.

The number of active cases in Williamson County is now nearly 1,200, according to daily data from the TDH. This number pushes the county spread level from "low" to "medium," according to metrics from Williamson County Schools.

The formula uses metrics from the Williamson County Health Department to measure the spread of the coronavirus based on the number of active cases compared to the county population.

The formula features three levels:

Low: Less than 0.5% of active cases, or fewer than 1,192 active cases

Medium: Between 0.5%-1% of active cases, or between 1,192-2,384 active cases

High: Greater than 1% of active cases, or more than 2,384 active cases

According to the back-to-school framework released by WCS on July 9, the formula will be used to determine which back-to-school scenario will be implemented when students are set to begin the fall semester Aug. 4. While the low spread scenario features a option for either in-school or online learning based on parental preference, the "medium spread" scenario could change this to in-school learning for younger students, and third- to 12th-grade students could move to remote learning, with some scheduled in-person instruction. Masks would be mandatory on campus in both scenarios.

Should the number of active cases rise to the "high spread" scenario, remote learning would be put in place for all students.

The WCS board of education is set to vote on whether to endorse the plan during a special called meeting July 13 at 6 p.m.

The meeting will be livestreamed by WCS here.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


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