As Gov. Bill Lee and his administration urge school districts throughout the state to reopen this fall, the state's health department says it has no plans to track the number of COVID-19 cases reported within individual schools, reports The Tennessean.
Reporting instances of COVID-19 in students will be left up to the school districts, Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said, but they will not have to submit formal reports to the state.
Even if the data were being tracked, the department told The Tennessean it would not be published publicly, citing the same patient privacy concerns the state raised back in April to support not publishing countywide case information or outbreaks in nursing homes, both of which are publicly reported now.
As some schools move to begin operations for the fall, the Tennessee Lookout reports 1,627 cases of COVID-19 were reported among school-age children in Tennessee in the past week — a 20 percent jump in the total number of children infected since the start of the pandemic.
This story first ran in our partner publication the Nashville Post.