Coronavirus COVID-19 Information

Last Updated: 5/8/2020 1:35 PM

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5/8/20

Effective immediately, testing is available to all Georgians who request it, whether they have symptoms or not. There are more than 65 specimen point of collection sites (SPOC) throughout the state, with an additional 30 mobile SPOCs - locations and hours vary daily.

COVID-19 Testing Press Release


4/23/20

CDC developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19 and children. The questions, answers, and resources are included below.  -Garry

CDC: COVID-19 and Children – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the risk of my child becoming sick with COVID-19?  Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date. You can learn more about who is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 at People who are at higher risk for severe illness.

How can I protect my child from COVID-19 infection?  You can encourage your child to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).
  • Launder items, including washable plush toys, as appropriate and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.

You can find additional information on preventing COVID-19 at Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus and at Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities. Additional information on how COVID-19 is spread is available at How COVID-19 Spreads. More information on Children and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is available online.

Are the symptoms of COVID-19 different in children than in adults?  No. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It’s not known yet whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, for example, children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs. There is much more to be learned about how the disease impacts children.

Should children wear masks?  CDC recommends that everyone 2 years and older wear a cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth when they are out in the community. Cloth face coverings should NOT be put on babies or children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation. Children younger than 2 years of age are listed as an exception as well as anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.

Wearing cloth face coverings is a public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning ,and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms.

How do I prepare my children in case of COVID-19 outbreak in our community?  Outbreaks can be stressful for adults and children. Talk with your children about the outbreak, try to stay calm, and reassure them that they are safe. If appropriate, explain to them that most illness from COVID-19 seems to be mild. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults. CDC offers resources to help talk with children about COVID-19.

What steps should parents take to protect children during a community outbreak?

This is a new virus and we are still learning about it, but so far, there does not seem to be a lot of illness in children. Most illness, including serious illness, is happening in adults of working age and older adults. However, children do get the virus and become ill. Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places while school is dismissed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.


4/16/20

Please see the information from Sara Kroening, Deputy Chief Nurse of School Health at the Georgia Department of Public Health, regarding COVID-19 testing expanding in Georgia.

Expanded COVID-19 Testing

For more information, visit

http://www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org/


4/13/20

The website below provides relief assistance through the Whole Child Support at the Georgia Department of Education. It gives good information and resources, some of which are statewide. Enter your zip code and find assistance in your area.
 

4/7/20

Talking through intense anxiety can be helpful!

The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities launched the State of Georgia COVID-19 Emotional Support Line in partnership with Behavioral Health Link, providing 24/7 free and confidential assistance to callers needing emotional support or resources information as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emotional Support Line is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals and others who have received training in crisis counseling.

Georgia COVID-19 Emotional Support Line Flyer

4/3/20

Dr. David Schonfeld  has presented “Talking to and Supporting our Children during the Pandemic.” Dr. Schonfeld is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and the Director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, as well as Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Disaster Preparedness and Recovery and he serves on the National Biodefense Science Board.  Please find the link to the recording of the Talking to and Supporting Our Children During the Pandemic webinar here. The presenter works with the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, There are excellent resources on their site (click the COVID-19 Pandemic Resources banner).   

CDC developed a website: Stress and Coping – Need Help? Know Someone Who Does?

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

Spanish version:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety-sp.html


Take care of yourself as you take care of others!

4/1/20

Dear Thomas County Schools Community,

Today, April 1, Governor Brian Kemp announced an executive order closing all public schools in Georgia for in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. It is very hard to believe that our students will not be physically returning to our schools and classrooms again this school year. We are truly heartbroken for our seniors and all students impacted by this pandemic.

Distance learning will continue for our students. We will provide alternatives to online instruction for those who do not have access to the internet. Our teachers, administrators, and county office will remain in contact with you through this challenging process. We will abide by the Governor's order and follow the guidance of the Georgia Department of Education and the Governor's Office of Student Achievement in completing the remainder of the school year. 

Spring break is April 6-10, and we encourage you to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy time with your family. Distance learning will resume Monday, April 13.

Thomas County Schools will have meal distribution tomorrow, Thursday, April 2, from 11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 - 6:00 P.M. at TCMS and the regular community sites. Meal distribution will not take place during spring break.  Please continue to check the system’s webpage and social media posts for meal distribution updates. Our district will continue providing meals for our students as long as it is deemed safe for us to do so.

We are very proud of our seniors and realize that they have been looking forward to their graduation. Thomas County Schools is committed to recognizing the Class of 2020. We will plan the graduation ceremony when it is safe for our students, staff and community to participate. We will continue to explore all options available as we move forward.

Please follow the guidance regarding social distancing and isolating as much as possible. Together we can slow and eventually stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Thank you for your support, patience, trust, and understanding as we work through these challenging times together.  We understand how the pandemic not only affects our students, parents, and staff in maintaining the progression of education, but it also impacts all of us socially, emotionally and economically. We are here for our families. For assistance, please call the Buzz Helpline at 229-413-1234. 

Sincerely, 

Lisa Williams
Superintendent


4/1/20

We now have 18 free WiFi hotspots available at various locations throughout the county to help those without internet access at home. Please email us at techsupport@tcjackets.net or call 229-413-1234 for assistance or if you are having any trouble accessing the free WiFi.

Thomas County WiFi Map


*NOTE - We request that people don't park directly in front of the garage doors at the fire department locations. There should be plenty of space to park at these sites without blocking the doors. Thank you!

 

3/26/20

Following a recent executive order from Governor Brian Kemp, the Thomas County School System will remain closed until Friday, April 24, with students returning on Monday, April 27. According to the Governor, the closure could be extended if the pandemic crisis worsens.


3/26/20

CDC created a Self-Check website if you are not feeling well and want to check your symptoms.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.htm

The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline

Georgia Department of Public Health: “If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.”

Hotline: (844) 442-2681


3/24/20

SCHOOL CLOSURE EXTENDED UNTIL MONDAY, APRIL 13

Based on Governor Kemp’s executive order announced on March 23, the Thomas County School System is planning to open no sooner than Monday, April 13. Spring Break will remain as scheduled, April 6-10.  We will continue to follow the Governor's recommendations and orders regarding any future school closure extensions. Please continue to check our website and Facebook page for continued updates. 

We are here for our families. Please call our Buzz Helpline at 229-413-1234 if we can be of assistance. 


3/19/20

MEAL DISTRIBUTION UPDATE: Regretfully, we have reached our maximum meal distribution amount allowed for our system by the federal government (USDA). This only pertains to the remainder of today and Friday. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our families. We will resume meal distribution Monday, March 23.

Next week, we will distribute meals ONLY on Monday and Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. or until we have reached the maximum amount allowed for the week for our system.

More than 58,000 meals were distributed! We are very thankful we were able to serve so many families. We look forward to seeing you again on Monday or Wednesday of next week!

Please remember, we are here for our familes. Call the Buzz helpline at 229-413-1234 if we can help in any way.


3/16/20

THOMAS COUNTY SCHOOLS MEAL DISTRIBUTION

Thomas County Schools will be fully functioning to provide meals for all students ages 3-18 beginning March 17th Tuesday-Friday and Monday-Friday the weeks following. We will be distributing ready-to-eat meals for the entire week in one box/bag per student, including 5 complete breakfasts and 5 complete lunches. We will be open for distribution from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm at Thomas County Middle School’s parent pickup line and the lane behind the cafeteria.  

Main Location
Times (Beginning Tuesday, March 17)*
Thomas County Middle School 
8:00am-6:30pm  M-F

For those unable to come to the middle school for pick-up, we will be doing weekly distributions at our outlying communities each day. These locations will be distributing food from 11:00-12:00 each weekday starting Tuesday, March 17th. Please find the following list of distribution locations…

Community Locations
Times (Beginning Tuesday, March 17)*
11:00am-12:00pm  M-F
See each listed below

Public Library Branches 
Thomasville Library, 201 North Madison Street

  • Boston Library, 250 S. Main St.
  • Coolidge Library, 1029 South Verbena Ave. 
  • Meigs Library, 3058 N. East Railroad St.
  •  Pavo Library, 3031 East Harris St. 
  • Ochlocknee Library, 1060 N East Railroad St. 

Other locations

  • Villa North Apartments, 510 Old Albany Rd.
  • Wood Valley Apartments, 1325 Warner St.
  • Best for Guests, 14359 US Hwy 319 N.
  • Hunters Chase Apartments, Hunters Chase Cir.
  • Ashley Park Apartments, 1 Ashley Park Place
  • Circle C Mobile Home Park, 1525 Summerhill Rd.
  • Twin Oaks Mobile Home Park, 862 Powell Dr.
  • Barwick Recreation Field, Hwy 33 Gin St. 
  • Metcalf Public Park, Corner of Metcalf-Beachton Rd. and John St.
  • Thomas County Fire Station (Intersection of Hwy 19 S and New Hope Rd.)
  • Rose City Estates, 107 Lyon Ln.

*Tuesday, March 17th there will only be 4 breakfasts & 4 lunches for T-F.

We are here for our families. How can we help you?
Call the Buzz Line: 229-413-1234


3/14/20

As a result of the school closures due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Thomas County School System plans to distribute items needed to provide instruction to our students in a variety of formats. Chromebooks will be provided  for any student in grades 2-12 who needs a device to complete digital learning assignments. 

A distribution site will be located at each of our schools during the times below:  

Monday, March 16: 1:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 17: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

For students in Pre-K - K
Books, supplies, packets and other learning materials will be available for pickup at Hand-in-Hand in the front circle. Activities that address PK-K standards can also be found on Hand-in-Hand’s webpage.

For students in 1st Grade
Books, supplies, packets and other learning materials will be available for pickup at Garrison-Pilcher in the front of the school. Activities that address 1st grade standards are also being placed on Garrison-Pilcher’s webpage.

For students in 2nd Grade
A Chromebook will be available for checkout for student(s) at Garrison-Pilcher in the front of the school.

For students in 3rd and 4th Grades
A Chromebook will be available for checkout for student(s) at the bus line on the Hall Road side at Cross Creek. 

For TCMS students in 5th-8th Grades
A Chromebook will be available for checkout for student(s) in grades 5-8.
5th grade - pickup at the end of 5th grade hall
6th grade - pickup at the end of 6th grade hall
7th & 8th grades - pickup in the front circle

For TCCHS students in 9th-12th Grades who do not already have a Chromebook to use, one will be available for checkout in the TCCHS media center.

For Bishop Hall students in 8th-12th Grades who do not already have a Chromebook to use, one will be available for checkout at Bishop Hall.

Students attending Pathways may checkout a Chromebook at the Pathways Administration Office Building. 

Students attending the Renaissance Center may checkout a Chromebook in the cafeteria at the Renaissance Center.

More information about utilizing the technology devices for online learning will be shared early next week. In addition, available wifi access sites will also be shared for any students who need this service.  


3/14/20

Parents and Guardians,

The Thomas County School System is working diligently to provide services to your children in order to minimize, as much as possible, disruptions in your child’s education due to the school system closure.

To help us better serve your child, we have developed a short on-line survey.

Please complete the survey at the following link as soon as possible: Thomas County Schools Closure Survey

Please continue to check our website and/or Facebook page daily for updates regarding services that will be available to your child during the closure.


3/13/20

Dear Members of the Thomas County Schools Community,

After receiving continued guidance, information, and recommendations from Governor Brian Kemp, State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the State Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Thomas County Board of Health, Archbold, and the Thomas County Emergency Management Agency, and in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), I have made the decision to close the Thomas County School System for students for a two-week period beginning Monday, March 16. During this closing, there will be no extracurricular activities, sports, school events, or field trips.

The school system will be providing distance learning opportunities for our students during the school closure, and we encourage parents to work with their children in taking full advantage of the opportunities that will be provided for them to continue learning while schools are closed.  More information will follow regarding how students can access the digital instruction that will be provided for them. Our staff will report to work Monday of next week to develop lessons for students, and we anticipate that we will have resources available to students beginning early next week. 

We are also planning to offer a feeding program for our students and many of the other services that our system currently provides, such as our School-Based Health Care and GAP counseling services. We strongly encourage parents to check our system website and Facebook page daily during the school closure for more information on our feeding program, digital learning, and other services that our system offers. We will also send reminders and updates through our One Call service, Remind messaging service, and through Infinite Campus messenger email.

We understand the challenge that this event has presented for our community, our state, and our nation, and we greatly appreciate our community for their continued support during this difficult period. 

Sincerely, 

Lisa Williams, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Versión en Español

 


3/12/20

Our school system is continuing to work closely with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Department of Public Health (GaDPH), and other agencies for continued guidance regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). We want to ensure we are also providing our employees, parents, and students with accurate and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. Please see the links below for continued updates:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov

Georgia Department of Public Health| www.dph.georgia.gov

The CDC resources below include multilingual fact sheets and infographics. 

CDC Coronavirus Resource Center for Schools

·                    English

·                    Chinese

·                    Spanish

Fact sheet: What You Need to Know

·                    English

·                    Simplified Chinese

·                    Spanish

Fact sheet: What to Do If You Are Sick

·                    English

·                    Simplified Chinese

·                    Spanish

Poster: Stop the Spread of Germs

·                    English   

·                    Spanish   

·                    Simplified Chinese

Poster: Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019

·                    English 

·                    Spanish

 

UPDATE 3/4/20

The Thomas County School System remains in close contact with local and state agencies to assure that we are all doing what we can to protect the health and welfare of our students and school system employees. 

Our system is committed to providing our staff and students with a safe and healthy learning environment. We are working hard to ensure that our schools and buses are being cleaned and sanitized daily. 

Families are encouraged to frequently check the Georgia Department of Public Health (GaDPH), the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) websites for the most current, reliable information about this issue. These websites are listed below. 

The CDC recommends the following to help prevent infection of respiratory diseases: 

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes, preferably with a tissue and place immediately in the trash. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Keep sick children at home until they are fever-free without medication for 24 hours. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces on a daily basis, including coats and backpacks.  

We will continue to follow the directions given by the GaDPH, the GaDOE, and the CDC. Thank you for your help in reinforcing the CDC recommendations at home. Working together, we can help keep our students healthy and safe.