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Re-opening of DeKalb Schools Delayed Until August 17 After School Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19 (View Video Here)

July 31, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The re-opening date for DeKalb County Schools has been postponed until Monday, August 17 after an employee at one of the schools tested positive for COVID-19. The planned re-opening had been set for Monday, August 3.


Not only will that employee with the coronavirus be quarantined but so will other faculty members and administrators of that school who may have been exposed to the virus.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps made the announcement to WJLE Friday afternoon. He did not identify the employee nor the school where this person works.

Director Cripps said he consulted members of the school board and the Tennessee School Boards Association before making today’s decision.

“We were notified that we have had a positive result in one of our employees at a building. That employee recently reported feeling not well, then went home, followed all the protocols, and was tested. That employee received the test results today and it was positive. We immediately told that employee you have to be quarantined according to what the CDC recommends for 10 days plus a 24 hour day without a fever before you can return to work. We then began tracing where this individual had been while working and learned that this employee had been around other staff members because we are in in-service. Those other staff members, which involved a large number of that faculty, have been contacted about this matter so we will be pushing back the re-opening of schools for two weeks so we can get through this quarantine and see how the trajectory of the COVID-19 numbers are at that point,” said Director Cripps.

Because this is a delay in the scheduled re-opening of schools, there will be no remote learning during the two week period from August 3-17. The school board will have to decide later how to make up the lost days.

Sales Tax Holiday Weekend Has Arrived

July 31, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Mark your calendars. For 2020 only, the Tennessee General Assembly has approved two sales tax holiday weekends to help Tennesseans save money and support the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first tax-free holiday weekend focuses on clothing and other back-to-school items. It begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 31, and ends Sunday, August 2, at 11:59 p.m. During this time, consumers may purchase clothing, school supplies, and computers and other qualifying electronic devices without paying sales tax. Certain price restrictions apply. For school supplies and clothing, the threshold for qualifying items is $200 or less. For computers and other electronics, the price threshold is $3,000 or less.. Download our list of tax-exempt items here.

Exempt items sold online are also eligible. Consumers must purchase items for personal use, not business or trade.

The second sales tax holiday weekend focuses on restaurant sales. It begins at 12:01 a.m. on August 7 and ends Sunday, August 9, at 11:59 p.m. During this time the retail sale of food and drink by restaurants and limited service restaurants, as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-4-102, is exempt from sales tax.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense economic strain on Tennessee families. These sales tax holidays will allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money and support Tennessee businesses,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

“We want to remind everyone about these opportunities for tax relief,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “It’s a good opportunity to save money during these difficult times.”

For more information about the sales tax holiday weekends, visit You can also read our frequently asked questions, as well as this important notice.

DeKalb Health Department to Host Immunization Clinic For Students

July 31, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Kids are returning to school and it is important for parents and caregivers to make sure students receive their required immunizations before classes start next Monday, August 3.

The DeKalb County Health Department will be hosting a Kindergarten and 7th grade Immunization Clinic. The clinic will be on Friday, July 31; Monday, August 3; and Wednesday, August 5. If your child needs to be vaccinated please call 615-597-7599 to schedule an appointment.

Parent/Caregiver must provide all immunization records and insurance card. Make sure your child is ready for Kindergarten or 7th grade.

“We want Tennessee children to be in school, learning in a safe and healthy environment, so it’s extremely important students are vaccinated against diseases that can spread easily in the classroom or elsewhere,” said TDH Chief Medical Officer David Reagan. “I encourage parents and caregivers to protect their students, their families and those around them by getting the vaccines they need to stay healthy.”

In Tennessee, children enrolling in school for the first time and all children going into seventh grade must provide schools with a state immunization certificate before classes start as proof they have had all the required immunizations. Additional immunizations are required for students at Tennessee colleges and universities.

“We strongly urge parents to be sure their children receive all recommended vaccines on the immunization schedule. Certain vaccines are also required for school because they help keep children safe in the classroom and on the playground,” said Kelly Moore, MD, MPH, director of the Tennessee Immunization Program. “Take this opportunity to talk with your health care provider to be sure your child is fully immunized, and make appointments now so your child won’t miss school because he or she hasn’t had needed vaccines.”

Requirements for school vaccinations in Tennessee:

•Kindergarteners and other children enrolling in a Tennessee school for the first time must provide schools with a complete, official Tennessee Immunization Certificate before classes begin. The certificate must be signed by a qualified health care provider or verified by the state’s Immunization Information System

•All current students entering seventh grade are required to give the school a limited official Tennessee Immunization Certificate showing they have had a booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. The HPV cancer vaccine and first meningococcal meningitis vaccine are recommended at this age and can be given at the same time as the required Tdap booster.

•Immunization requirements for college entry vary by institution, but teens who have had all recommended vaccines including their meningitis booster shot after they turn 16 will be sure to have met any college’s requirements.

Immunizations required for school are readily available from most health care providers across the state, including county health departments. Children younger than age 19 may be eligible for free vaccine if they have no insurance, are enrolled in TennCare, have private insurance that does not cover vaccines or are American Indian or Alaska Native. The complete list of Tennessee child care and school immunization requirements can be found at Local schools and school districts can provide information about when and how immunization certificates need to be provided.

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