Four students and two staff members in the Limestone County School System have tested positive for coronavirus, and more than 300 students are in quarantine.
Superintendent Dr. Randy Shearouse said four students tested positive at Elkmont High School, one staff member tested positive at Piney Chapel Elementary School, and one staff member tested positive at Sugar Creek Elementary School.
He said the individuals in quarantine are doing so because they’ve either been in contact with someone confirmed positive or with someone with symptoms that may be coronavirus.
Of those 300 individuals in quarantine throughout the system, he said 40 are students at Elkmont High School and one is a student at Elkmont Elementary School.
Of the 40 at Elkmont High School, Shearouse said 18 are members of the football team.
Heath Guthrie's children, Emma and Jake were two of the affected students. Both are student-athletes at Elkmont High School. He said the day he had to pick up Jake after hearing the news about the coronavirus cases was difficult.
"One of the kids come out, he was a seventh-grade football player, he come out and he talked to his mom and he said, 'Mom, what did I do?' And you know, he didn't do anything. It's just - it was just unfortunate," Heath said.
Shearouse also said that within the first four days of the school year, between 150 and 160 East Limestone High School students had been asked to quarantine just in case because of exposure to a student with possible coronavirus symptoms.
He said some of them have been able to return because the symptomatic person that some encountered was able to prove they don’t have coronavirus.
"Students are coming back now because, you know, a child goes to the doctor, they're cleared by the doctor. So all those students that we're in close contact with the student with symptoms can now come back," Shearouse said.
Shearouse said because Limestone County is still seeing community spread, it wasn't shocking that coronavirus cases would show up in the community.
"I think we knew that we were going to have cases and I think all the experts knew that schools were going to have cases. Once again, a reflection of the community, a reflection of society and that was going to happen. And so we had all the safety protocols in place to make sure all our students were wearing masks. And I'll say our students have done a great job with that," Shearouse said.
Guthrie agreed that both the school leaders and coaches are doing everything they can to keep students safe. He said the coronavirus experience is bringing the community together.
"It's a terrible experience because it's a terrible virus, but it's been a great experience how the community has come together and really supported these kids," Guthrie said.
Students returned to classrooms in Limestone County schools on Aug. 7.