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Knox Co. mom discusses concerns after a COVID-19 exposure in school

Two weeks ago, the Taylor family received a phone call saying Maggie had been exposed to COVID-19 by someone in her class, which meant she had to quarantine.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — The realities of the pandemic can be felt every day especially for young school children.  

They politely wear their masks, get their temperatures checked and make the best of it every single day.  

However, this has not been easy for them or their parents, especially if that child has potentially been exposed to COVID-19. 

For Knox County first grader Maggie Taylor, this is what happened when she was exposed to the virus in her class:

Maggie is an in-person learner and loves being back at her elementary school but everything changed with a phone call. 

Two weeks ago, the Taylor family received a phone call saying that Maggie had been exposed to COVID-19 by someone in her class, which meant she had to quarantine for 14 days.

Maggie's mother, Kelly Taylor said Maggie had actually been exposed to COVID-19 the Friday before and it took 5 days for contact tracing, then the Knox County Health Department reached out. 

The next day, another phone call came in from Maggie's elementary school guidance counselor. 

There were a lot of questions for the Taylor family, a household with two working parents. 

"Not only what am I supposed to do with my child as far as child care, but this child who is 6 years old and doesn't understand," Kelly said. 

It took a day, but Maggie joined a virtual class in progress. 

"She has a great attitude and she's pretty flexible, but she was crying because she was frustrated, she's like 'I don't know what I am supposed to do'," Kelly said. 

Kelly said all of Maggie's teachers were amazing throughout the process. 

"I can barely do a Teams call with adults, can you imagine doing it with 18 6-year-olds and then five of them they've just been put in your class?," she said. "I am already so in awe of teachers, like I could never do it but this has made me so much more appreciative." 

The Taylor family made the necessary adjustments to make this work in their household, but Kelly worries about other families who don't have that ability. 

"There's families in Knox County that are single parent homes or parents have jobs that they aren't able to work remotely or they're not able to take time off work," she said. "And I'm just really concerned about what this looks like." 

Kelly advises parents to come up with a plan just in case your child is exposed because it all happens very quickly.