Changes in How Rutherford County Schools Deal With COVID-19 and New Law Says Businesses / Government Organizations Cannot Require COVID Vaccine

Nov 16, 2021 at 07:32 am by WGNS

Some of the guidelines around COVID-19 have changed, which means changes for the Rutherford County Schools and schools throughout the state. One of the changes focuses on how schools decide when to close and what to look for when they trace COVID positive contacts, also known as “Contact Tracing.” County school’s spokesperson James Evans told parents on Monday afternoon…

Again, changes will be announced by the Rutherford County Schools as soon as he new guidelines are handed down from the Tennessee Health Commissioner. 

In the Rutherford County School system, the schools conduct contact tracing upon learning about a COVID positive case. County school guidelines show that all contacts of a positive diagnosis must remain out of school for quarantine. Those who were around a COVID positive case must be symptom-free for six days before returning to the classroom on the seventh day. These rules are currently in effect for school employees and students.

In cases involving students or staff who live with a COVID positive case, those students or employees must be out-of-school for at least seventeen days, because of the sustained nature of the contact.

Scroll down for vaccination and face mask requirements under newly signed legislation...


Requirement or Proof of COVID Vaccination 

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed new legislation this past Friday (11/12/2021) that restricts the authority of schools, businesses and even health agencies, when it comes to COVID-19.

The new Tennessee law surrounding COVID-19 establishes new standards in how public and private entities deal with COVID. The law prohibits schools and businesses from mandating students or employees receive a COVID vaccination. It also says that a school or private business cannot require proof of vaccination for their students or staff.

According to recently signed and enacted Senate Bill 9014, a school, business or organization cannot take adverse action against any person who fails to show proof of vaccination. This means that schools, government offices, businesses and organizations in the Volunteer State cannot force anyone to receive a vaccination and cannot require a vaccination to attend or work at a school, business or government office.

Face Coverings

Schools will not be allowed to mandate face coverings, unless the school president or principal submits a written request to the schools governing body asking for the requirement of a face mask. But, that governing body must adopt a policy requiring that all persons on school property wear a face mask.

When it comes to face coverings in private businesses, the Governor says that companies that receive grant funds or tax credits from the State of Tennessee, will not be allowed to require face coverings as a condition to access the publicly funded private business – Unless the governor declares a state of emergency for COVID-19 (more details here).


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