NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Hundreds of students across Tennessee have been forced to quarantine or isolate due to the COVID-19 outbreak, forcing some schools to close their classrooms while others temporarily switch to virtual learning.

In Nashville, nearly 600 students have tested positive for COVID-19 while nearly 4,000 are in quarantine as of Monday.

In Shelby County, the state’s most populous region, 857 student cases and 123 staff cases have been reported since the school year kicked off earlier this month. The district has seen a steady uptick in reported student cases: from roughly 130 during the first week of school to more than 430 last week.

In Knoxville, county officials reported more than 800 active cases among students and nearly 100 among staff.

Frustration over the outbreak and the state’s handling of the pandemic sparked some parents in the Knoxville area on Monday to keep their children home for the day and others to hold signs outside school buildings demanding that officials implement stronger virus-protection protocols.

Last week, Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced that schools and individual classrooms struggling to manage the COVID-19 surge could request a temporary shift to remote instruction if their districts can show a need. Remote-learning waivers will not apply to entire districts, Schwinn noted in her Friday letter.