CAIRO — The number of Grady County students in quarantine has been cut in half over the course of the past week, according to data released by the Grady County School System, and the rate of spread of COVID-19 appears to be slowing across the county as a whole.

Just 73 students were quarantined for possible exposure to COVID-19 Tuesday – less than half of the 158 students who were in quarantine late last week.

Only two students – both at Shiver School – and one employee were known to have a positive COVID-19 status earlier this week. Five students at Shiver have been placed in quarantine as a result.

At Cairo High School, just 16 students and two employees were in quarantine, and no positive cases of the virus are currently known throughout the school. That’s down from a high of 148 students in quarantine there earlier this month.

There are quarantines of 22 students and 17 students at Whigham School and Washington Middle School, respectively, though there are no known positive cases among students at either school. One employee at Whigham tested positive for the virus, and two employees there have been quarantined. Another three employees at Washington have also been quarantined.

Six students each at Eastside and Northside elementary schools have also been quarantined. At Southside, just one student is in quarantine.

Across Grady County as a whole, the rate of spread of the virus continues to slow as just 12 individuals were diagnosed in the past seven days, bringing the county’s total up to 834.

Ninety-seven county residents have been hospitalized due to the virus.

A total of 23 individuals have died of the virus.

The Grady County Health Department will host free specimen collection tests every Tuesday and Friday this month from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. with the exception of Friday, October 30.

Aditional testing will take place Saturday, October 31.

Patients are encouraged to schedule appointments by calling (229) 352-6567 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays or between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays. Patients can also visit www.covid19.dph.ga.gov and select "Take the Screening Questionnaire" to begin the application process.

Visit www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org to see the full testing schedule for all southwest Georgia counties.

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