116 students have been sent home to quarantine after several people in Corinth School District in Mississippi tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the school district said Thursday.
Schools in Corinth opened last week and welcomed back roughly 2,700 students. A high school student tested positive for the coronavirus Friday and the number of people infected had risen to six students and a staff member earlier this week, The Washington Post reported.
A memo posted Wednesday on Facebook said Corinth School District used contact tracing and notified anyone who was “within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more.” The memo added that notified students would have to self-quarantine for 14 days and switch to virtual classes.
A reopening plan published by the school district July 10 states that students and teachers are screened everyday. The school district added that it takes temperatures after people arrive at school and checks for symptoms like coughing and difficulty breathing. Face coverings are also required in Corinth schools
Superintendent Lee Childress said he is working to keep schools open despite the uptick in cases during a Facebook Live broadcast Tuesday. “Just because you begin to have positive cases, that is not a reason for closing school,” he said. (RELATED: UN Official Warns Of ‘Generational Catastrophe’ If Schools Do Not Safely Reopen)
Corinth School District allowed families to choose between sending their children to a brick-and-mortar school or switching to a virtual distance learning program at home, according to the district’s reopening plan.
Childress said he had confidence in the school district’s plans despite the increase in cases and the quarantine. “We’re going to have some more positive cases. We know that. We know it will happen. We’re going to have to deal with it, and I can assure that we will deal with it and when we impose quarantines on students and staff, we are doing that for a reason,” he said.
Republican Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said he would mandate masks in schools and delay reopening schools in coronavirus hot spots in a Facebook post Wednesday.
Mississippi has so far reported more than 63,000 cases and roughly 1,800 deaths, according to the state’s health department.