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Union County Schools to close Sept. 1-10 due to COVID-19

All school events and athletics will be canceled during this time, according to the district.

UNION COUNTY, Tenn. — Union County Public Schools announced it will be closed Wednesday, Sept. 1- Friday, Sept. 10. 

Director of Schools Jimmy Carter said this decision was made to address the rising number of quarantines and positive cases in schools as well as difficulties covering classrooms due to staff absences and being on the verge of canceling bus routes due to either positive cases or drivers being quarantined.   

Spanish Version: Escuelas del Condado de Union cerrarán hasta el 10 de septiembre debido al COVID-19

Carter said they’ve seen more spread in schools. The students and teachers who are listed as close contacts are coming back positive compared to last year with 144 positive cases resulting in 571 contacts as of Tuesday, Aug. 31.

He said it will give leaders an opportunity to get through some of the quarantines and have a plan moving forward.

RELATED: How to contact your school district's Board of Education in East Tennessee

Carter said leaders are working with the health department to schedule a vaccination clinic for eligible students and any adult who has not been vaccinated.  

"It is my belief that this is an option to prevent a long-term closure. I will get that information out to the public if/when we are able to schedule this with the Health Department," he said in a statement.

The district will not do distance learning during this closure since all students are not afforded the same opportunity to receive instruction. 

These days will be considered inclement weather days and will use six of the district's 10 total weather days.  

All school events and athletics will be canceled during this time, according to the district.

"I know that this decision puts a tremendous strain on families and for that, I apologize. It is extremely difficult to balance our responsibility to both educate and keep our children and staff safe under these circumstances," Carter said. "I request your grace and patience with us as we continue to work together for the benefit of our students."