School district reports weekly cases, quarantines

Nearly 30 percent of the Lewisburg Middle School student population last week were new coronavirus quarantines, according to the weekly report on the virus in the DeSoto County School District (DCS) issued Monday. 

The information indicated that 287 students, or 29.65 percent of the student body, were new quarantines as the result of close contact at school. There were 53 new COVID-19 cases last week at Lewisburg Middle, amounting to a district-high 5.48 percent of the student population. 

Those results were likely a reason behind the school district placing the school in virtual learning until Sept. 8, the Wednesday after Labor Day, although principal Brad Meadows said on the OB POD podcast Monday that the jump was happening even the week before.  

“The number of positive cases that we had the week of Aug. 16, we saw a spike in the number of positive cases we had at our school,” Meadows said. “We received a recommendation from the Mississippi (State) Department of Health and we all agreed going virtual temporarily was the best option for us.” 

Lewisburg Middle became the second DCS school put into virtual learning due to coronavirus after Hernando High School, which was moved on Wednesday, Aug. 25 into a hybrid mode. That is when half the student body attends in person one day and the other half attends the next day on a rotating basis.  

In an email Monday afternoon, DCS Supt. Cory Uselton said Hernando High is tentatively slated to return to in-person classes next week after the Labor Day holiday, but that is not yet a certainty.  

“Hernando High School students are tentatively scheduled to return to 100 percent in-person instruction on Tuesday, Sept. 7,” Uselton wrote. “School officials will contact Hernando High School parents on or before Thursday, Sept. 2 with definite plans.”

A total of 496 students were newly-confirmed cases of coronavirus last week, according to the weekly update. After Lewisburg Middle with 53, DeSoto Central High had 38 cases, DeSoto Central Middle reported, and Southaven High had 26 new COVID-19 cases. 

The 18 new cases at Lewisburg Primary became the highest percentage of the school student body for the week at 3.06 percent.  

DCS last week had 1,410 new quarantines, or 4.10 percent, due to close contact in school.  After Lewisburg Middle with 287, Walls Elementary had 112 students, or 15.53 percent of the population in quarantine, and Lewisburg Primary reported 84 youngsters, or 14.26 percent, in quarantine.  

A total of 82 school teachers and staff members were new coronavirus positive cases during the past school week. 

The complete report on last week’s DCS coronavirus cases and quarantines, broken down by school, may be viewed on the DeSoto County Schools website.

COVID UPDATE FROM MSDH: Monday, the Mississippi State Department of Health issued its update on cases and related deaths due to coronavirus over the past weekend.  

DeSoto County had one additional death report come in over the weekend from the time period of July 30-Aug. 23, for a pandemic total of 304. The county has recorded 27,250 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began in March 2020. 

All MSDH COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites were closed Monday, Aug. 30, with the incoming remnants of Hurricane Ida, and sites in central and south Mississippi will remain closed Tuesday. Further cancellations are possible, depending on weather conditions. Canceled appointments will be rescheduled, and notifications sent.

POP-UP VACCINATION SITE COMING: Apelah, the non-profit organization providing specialized foster care and in-home care services, is hosting in cooperation with the state health department a pop-up vaccination site on Thursday, Sept. 30 at Bingo Bonanza in Nesbit. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available. Participants must pre-register on the Apelah website or call 662-429-3652, so the health department can determine the amount of vaccine they need to bring.

Apelah pop-up COVID vaccination site.

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