Free breakfast-lunch news overshadowed by FHS COVID-19 cases

On one hand, there was good news last week from Knox County Schools superintendent Robert Thomas, who announced all KCS students, including Farragut’s, would receive a free breakfast and free lunch — regardless of family income — for as long as federal funding would last through fall semester.

While this news was announced to Knox County Board of Education during its Wednesday, Sept. 2, meeting, a sobering announcement came late last week from Dr. John Bartlett, Farragut High School principal.

In an electronic release sent to all FHS parents and guardians, Bartlett said, “We have been made aware of confirmed COVID-19 cases at our school.”

He further elaborated as follows:

“The Knox County Health Department and KCS Health Services have identified those who were at risk of exposure and they have already been contacted.

“We are taking additional measures to clean and sanitize our building. As always, the expectation is that everyone wears a mask properly, washes their hands frequently and maintains adequate physical distancing while at school.

“If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, sore throat, chills, shortness of breath and loss of taste and smell, please call your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, please contact the (Knox County) Health Department at 865-215-5555.

“I understand that you may have questions and concerns; but as you know, I am not able to provide any additional information due to privacy laws.”

However, these cases did not cause the cancellation of in-person classes at FHS Tuesday, Sept. 8 (paper deadline was Tuesday afternoon).