KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Some Knox County school parents said they still aren’t happy with the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, even though it now breaks down numbers for individual schools.
“You’ve got children that are being infected, we have kids that are in the ICU who are Knox County students,” Amanda Gillan said, who has three children currently in the district and is also a member of the Facebook group “Knoxville Parents Against COVID.”
Megan Saturday, who WATE 6 On Your Side interviewed a month ago about wanting more to be done, said she just wants better contact tracing.
“The goal would be as soon as a kid is confirmed positive that I know about it if my kid has been in contact and that’s simply not happening,” Saturday said.
Many of the parents feel too much of the burden is being placed on the Knox County Health Department.
“Every bit of communication can make a huge difference,” Saturday said.
Knox County Schools brought back its COVID-19 dashboard last month for this school year. District officials said they are giving out as much information as they can while protecting students’ identities.
Elizabeth Wiseman has a second grader at Sequoyah Elementary School. She’s expressed she doesn’t want to see a stigma around COVID-19 anymore.
“You’re not a dirty family if you have a COVID exposure,” Wiseman said. “What it does is it helps us take responsibility for our own families.”
Wiseman also wanted educators to open up the lines of communication, because she acknowledged she knows this is not what they signed up for.
“If we were to encourage and support them in this new role that they didn’t sign up for, which is public health, to say it’s OK for you to email me about COVID the same way you would about flu, or about strep, or about lice, or about any of these other things we talk about throughout the school year,” said Wiseman. “I want them to feel comfortable enough to say to parents, ‘Hey, this is something that is happening in our classroom, it doesn’t have to be a big deal.”
When the Knox County School District updated their dashboard Wednesday afternoon, it showed 404 active COVID-19 cases, 347 of the cases are students and 57 are staff members.