HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. — The COVID-19 surge is being seen in schools. The number of Hamilton County Schools employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 is the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. This comes just a few days after school started back up after the holiday break.
"It's exhausting, it's exhausting. You know, it's been two years," said Jeanette Omarkhail, the Hamilton County Education Association President.
The Hamilton County Schools COVID-19 dashboard shows active cases for almost 180 employees and 518 students as of Tuesday afternoon.
Omarkhail said when there are not enough teachers or substitutes in the building, the administration is having to cover.
"Hamilton County teachers and educators, the whole staff, have worked hard and they're exhausted, but they're not going to stop working hard," Omarkhail said.
She said they won't stop, but they do need the community's help.
"Teachers are again working outside of their contracted hours, they are having to cover classes because we don't have enough subs, so it's taking a toll on our teachers," Omarkhail said.
She suggested if you have a day off during the week, sign up to be a substitute teacher, or hundreds of jobs are open for teachers and other positions in the district.
The qualifications to become a substitute teacher include:
- High school diploma or GED
- Clean background check
- Cleared medical and drug screening
"Is it an easy thing to do? No, I've substituted, it's not an easy thing, but it would be a great community-building thing for everyone," Omarkhail said.
To apply to be a substitute teacher, click here.