By Dave Barkholz

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Dickson County Schools has taken another step toward opening schools August 3 with a full, five-day classroom schedule.
The district has received guidance from state education officials that the Governor’s new coronavirus emergency orders do not apply to Tennessee public schools, said Dickson County Schools Director Danny Weeks.
Those orders called for social distancing and limiting groups to 50 or less people.
That means the new emergency orders are not an impediment to going back to the classroom, which the district intends to do barring a big local outbreak of the coronavirus.
How long the district can keep classrooms open is another question.
Speaking at a special meeting of the Dickson County Board of Education Monday, Weeks said there’s a chance the county’s 16 schools may open as planned but have to either go to an online format later or a hybrid of online and fewer classroom sessions depending on the disease.
Weeks said the classrooms will be somewhat different when the schools reopen.
There will be no water fountains, sharing of crayons and materials or group sessions on a reading rug.
Coronavirus infections have been jumping in Dickson County and across Tennessee over the past two weeks.
Total positive cases in Dickson County on Monday were 212, up 61 cases or more than five per day, since June 25.
In the prior 26 days, just 24 people had come down with the disease, or less than one per day. There have been no Covid-related deaths in the county.
The rising numbers in Tennessee prompted Governor Bill Lee last week to extend the state of emergency in the state until August 29.
That has caused the postponement of early high school football games and soccer matches because they are contact sports.

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