Johnson City Schools: Contact tracing underway after more than 200 students sent home from Liberty Bell due to COVID-19

Local Coronavirus Coverage

(UPDATE) JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Johnson City Schools officials said in an interview Tuesday morning that “about 230 students” from Liberty Bell Middle School were sent home due to COVID-19.

According to Dr. Greg Wallace, those students were sent home due to positive coronavirus cases among students and staff.

We’re told the number of students sent home does include an entire class, which is now in quarantine. Other students in the group are “excluded,” meaning they aren’t allowed on campus or to participate in school activities.

Contact tracing is now underway to determine the full number of students, teachers and staff exposed to COVID-19.

“We still maintain that we want to continue to have students in the building as much as possible. In fact, we’re going to put out a PSA today to all of our families to say we want kids in school as much as possible. Please help by doing your part, encourage your students to wear masks at all times and socially distance,” Dr. Wallace said.

As of now, school officials said there is no plan to move the school completely back to remote learning.


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – An entire class has been quarantined due to COVID-19 at Liberty Bell Middle School, while three others have been sent home to receive remote instruction due to a lack of teachers available at the school.

According to Johnson City Schools Public Information Officer Collin Brooks, contact tracing is occurring at the school Tuesday morning.

Brooks said it is unclear whether the class is being quarantined due to a positive case among the students or teachers.

Brooks said the lack of available teachers led JCS to the decision that it would be best to send the other three classes home to participate in remote learning.

The numbers posted on the JCS COVID-19 Dashboard do not accurately reflect the actual known cases at Liberty Bell as of Tuesday morning, according to Brooks.

As of Monday night, the dashboard reported 44 students in quarantine and 10 in isolation. Four faculty members were in quarantine and three were in isolation.

Brooks told News Channel 11 on Tuesday that the actual number of students and faculty in quarantine now exceeds those numbers.

There is no plan to move the entire school back to remote learning as of 9 a.m. on Tuesday, according to Brooks.

Brooks said the results of contact tracing will be announced later on Tuesday and any decisions going forward will be released.

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