City Schools of Decatur shuts down COVID-19 testing after central office overwhelmedAround 45 people wait in line outside the City Schools of Decatur Elizabeth Wilson Support Center at 10:30 a.m. for COVID-19 testing on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Decatur, GA — City Schools of Decatur offered COVID-19 testing to students and staff on Monday, Jan. 3, and had to shut it down early due to the number of people that showed up.
“Due to overwhelming demand, the current wait time for COVID testing at the Wilson Center this morning is over two hours. Unfortunately, we cannot accept any more staff or students for testing at this time,” the district said in an email. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
Staff returned to the building today and students return tomorrow, Jan. 4. Unlike other metro Atlanta school districts, CSD intends to return to in-person learning and has hired additional substitute teachers to take over in case of teacher illness.
“CSD did hire additional full-time substitutes in November and December and added additional sub positions for the first two weeks of January,” Superintendent Maggie Fehrman said in a letter to parents. “However, there is a tipping point when we simply cannot operate schools safely if a significant number of staff are absent.”
She also wrote, “In the event that we encounter staffing issues in our operations division, such as transportation or school nutrition, we also have contingency plans to mitigate staffing shortages. This includes doubling bus routes and limiting menu options along with others. If adjustments in operations are needed, CSD will communicate information as soon as possible to inform parents if buses are running late or if we have significant changes in our menu options.”
CSD spokesperson Courtney Burnett said tests are not mandatory for returning to school but are highly encouraged.
Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here.