Several students in Mississippi’s Corinth School District have been infected with COVID-19 after resuming in-person classes on July 27.
Corinth School District Taylor Coombs said in an interview that six students and one staff member tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 disease.
Our of 2700 students in the district, 116 students have been considered in “close contact” with the people who tested positive and were sent home to quarantine for 14 days.
The Corinth School District posted a letter on Facebook on Wednesday informing parents that an individual from Corinth Middle School and an employee at Corinth Elementary School tested positive for coronavirus.
The letter also asked anyone who had contact with the individuals to undergo quarantine for 14 days, which means children under quarantine cannot attend school or any activities.
Despite the district having 7 positive cases in just six days after reopening, Superintendent Lee Childress said in an interview that major changes are planned for the district.
“It’s been interesting to watch unfold but it’s not something that was unexpected,” said Childress. “We knew we would have positive cases. I don’t think it matters if you open schools in July, August, September, or October. It’s something everyone is going to experience. The key is, we had the procedures in-place to do the screening at the schools need to take place prior to children coming.”
A local parent, Elizabeth Wilbanks, said in response to the increase in cases, “I do feel once they get acclimated to each other, they’re together, and we get through that first wave, things will stabilize. Children will be with their primary core in their different schools. They’ll be structured, routine.”
The Mississippi Association of Educators released a statement has been pressuring Governor Tate Reeves to delay the start of in-person schooling for a month until the state gets a better handle of the virus.
The statement said, “No one understands students needing to be back in the classroom more than educators do. We know it’s about much more than academic achievement. We miss our students dearly, and know how badly they need to be back in school buildings.”
“That’s why we’ve asked for a month long hiatus on in-person instruction so we can get a handle on the virus and back in the classroom as quickly as possible, with an assessment at the beginning of September to determine what should occur moving forward.”
“No one is proposing an indefinite hold on going back into buildings. We are simply requesting a few weeks to lower the number of new COVID cases and develop a plan that ensures every school in every district has the resources they need to get back into buildings safely.”
“That said: The governor’s plan, in its current form, is reckless and irresponsible. It ignores the advice of the state’s top medical officials and is putting students and educators and their families at risk.”
Meanwhile, the governor issued a mandatory mask mandate for the state that went into effect on Wednesday.
“I believe that there is enough motivation (now) to safely get our kids in school that we can really juice the participation of mask wearing throughout our state for the next two weeks,” the governor said while announcing new measures.