Athens Academy will work with the DPH on specific responses to campus cases of COVID-19. The protocols outlined below will be followed, but please know that action may be taken prior to reaching these thresholds. We will utilize data and other guidance to make decisions for the wellness of our community. A priority is mitigating transmission in our community. Decisions off-campus can influence this, just as much as on-campus activity, so please make healthy decisions away from Spartan Lane. We will continue to inform the community with general updates in the weekly eSpartan. One of two messages is shared with those affected when a positive case occurs within a cohort (class, team, etc.). One message shares the need for quarantine due to close contact, and the other asks for added vigilance and attention. Depending on timing and circumstances, we may choose to close an area of the school for a few hours or up to a day to clean and disinfect.
When we consider whether it is necessary to quarantine a larger group such as a grade level or division, we examine specific patterns to determine if we have isolated cases or connected cases with potential internal spread. We are prepared to pivot to a 10- to 14-day move to distance learning if the Athens Academy cases dictate such a decision. We have numbers assigned for our internal process, but have removed them from the plan so we can make the best decisions at any given time.
A decision to move the entire school to distance learning would be made in consultation with local health authorities and healthcare professionals. Instances of this happening would include a mandate from an outside authority; the healthcare system in Northeast Georgia in crisis; and/or transmission rates in the school are across divisions and approaching 2% or more. It is assumed that these positive cases would be within a short period of time and would indicate community spread. We could also be forced to move to virtual learning for a period of time should we have too many students or faculty staying home, making it difficult for us to safely manage the on-campus environment.