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A Review reader—and mother of a child in the Perry County School system—contacted this newspaper with questions about COVID-19 response policy and if students or teachers are required to go home or not attend if they test positive for the virus.

Following action by the Tennessee legislature in November, the matter is largely removed from the control of the local school system.

Director of Schools Eric Lomax provided a document that details guidance from the state on handling COVID-positive cases, ad had this statement:

“Basically, everything is now turned over to the health department about tracing and following the stay home or quarantine guidelines. We had a great plan and it was working well for us but we are no longer allowed to do it according to state law. We are still checking temperatures and sending them home if they have a fever.”

The guidance document Director Lomax referred to is from the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA), which states:

“School districts are prohibited from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations or proof of vaccination as a condition of access to school premises or facilities or a school’s products or services.

“School districts cannot compel or otherwise take an adverse action against a person if the individual objects to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for any reason.

“Unless all the following conditions are met, schools and school districts cannot require a person to wear a face covering while on school property.

Those conditions, as detailed by state law, are:

–a principal submits a written request to the school board asking them to adopt a policy requiring all persons on school property to wear a face covering;

–severe conditions exist. This is defined as: a state of emergency for COVID-19 is declared by the Governor; and the county has an average rolling fourteen-day COVID-19 infection rate of at least 1,000) new known infections for every 100,000) residents based on the most recent data published by the Department of Health; the school board adopts a mask policy on a school-by-school or campus-by-campus basis, and the policy only applies to the school that submitted the written request for no more than fourteen (14) days;

–the school provides a………………


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