Entire fourth grade class in Mississippi sent to quarantine

An entire fourth grade class in Mississippi is in quarantine after a student and more than half of the class' teachers tested positive for the coronavirus.

Posted: Aug 24, 2020 11:40 AM

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — An entire fourth grade class in Mississippi is in quarantine after a student and more than half of a school's fourth grade teachers tested positive for coronavirus.

Lafayette County School District Superintendent Adam Pugh told The Associated Press on Monday that the district notified the families of more than 200 fourth grade students at Lafayette Upper Elementary School to quarantine for two weeks over the weekend. One student and six out of 10 or 11 total fourth grade teachers have tested positive for the virus, and most of the rest of the fourth grade teachers were exposed, he said.

“We don't have enough staff to cover our entire fourth grade class in-person, so we had to send everybody home, to do virtual lessons," he said.

Lafayette County School District teachers returned to campus on Aug. 3, and students returned to school on Aug. 5. They have reported nine total cases among staff members district-wide and only one case in a student - the one at Lafayette Upper Elementary School.

Pugh said the school is in the midst of contact tracing investigations to figure out whether those who have tested positive for the virus were exposed at school or outside of school.

“I don’t know why it’s just our fourth grade teachers, I can’t answer that question at this point, but we are doing everything we can to mitigate the spread and keep our students and faculty as safe as we can," he said. “By teaching them virtually for two weeks, we are trying to separate our teachers and our students.”

Pugh said the district has posted new cases as they are reported on Facebook in an effort to be transparent. School districts in Mississippi are required to report new cases of coronavirus to the Mississippi State Department of Health, but not to the public.

Since returning to school in-person for the school year, the district's student body has been operating on a split schedule, with only half of the student body in the classroom on any given day. The entire district community was meant to return to school together for the first time on Monday. However, Pugh said that date has now been extended to early September.

The Lafayette County School District has already experienced one loss amid the coronavirus pandemic. Middle school teacher and assistant high school football coach Nacoma James died in early August after quarantining with coronavirus symptoms. He was working with student-athletes to train throughout the summer, but was quarantining when classes started.

Pugh said the district has been trying to find ways to remember James as the school year progresses. He loved wearing bow ties, and some staff have been wearing those to work in his honor. His football team is having a scrimmage Friday night, and James will be on everyone's minds, Pugh said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313166

Reported Deaths: 7228
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21496257
Hinds20294414
Harrison17814309
Rankin13573278
Jackson13411246
Madison10066217
Lee9962173
Jones8364163
Forrest7649152
Lauderdale7181240
Lowndes6370145
Lamar621686
Lafayette6171118
Washington5323133
Bolivar4797132
Oktibbeha461498
Panola4561105
Pearl River4499145
Marshall4397103
Warren4380121
Pontotoc419572
Monroe4100133
Union409076
Neshoba4026176
Lincoln3950110
Hancock377786
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335790
Tate332484
Pike3301105
Scott315373
Alcorn311968
Yazoo310769
Itawamba299477
Copiah296465
Simpson294788
Coahoma294379
Tippah287768
Prentiss279560
Adams269582
Marion268880
Leake266273
Wayne262341
Grenada260386
Covington256381
George246848
Newton246061
Winston226881
Tishomingo225967
Jasper220848
Attala214173
Chickasaw207157
Holmes188673
Clay184754
Stone182033
Tallahatchie178140
Clarke177879
Calhoun170132
Yalobusha163337
Smith162234
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125938
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104826
Claiborne102230
Benton99125
Humphreys96133
Kemper95428
Franklin83623
Quitman80216
Choctaw76118
Wilkinson66930
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50317
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530325

Reported Deaths: 10966
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763971520
Mobile40908804
Madison34717503
Tuscaloosa25730452
Montgomery24314588
Shelby23401249
Baldwin21107307
Lee15856171
Calhoun14488314
Morgan14282279
Etowah13819353
Marshall12210223
Houston10557280
Elmore10044205
Limestone9954150
Cullman9649193
St. Clair9644242
Lauderdale9419241
DeKalb8825185
Talladega8214175
Walker7223277
Autauga6918108
Jackson6804112
Blount6651137
Colbert6292134
Coffee5506119
Dale4828111
Russell440638
Chilton4279112
Franklin425582
Covington4118118
Tallapoosa4019152
Escambia393276
Chambers3559123
Dallas3547151
Clarke350861
Marion3113100
Pike310577
Lawrence299898
Winston274072
Bibb260464
Marengo249264
Geneva249077
Pickens234160
Barbour230757
Hale222677
Butler215969
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184445
Randolph179941
Monroe177340
Washington167039
Macon158750
Clay156156
Crenshaw152057
Cleburne148741
Lamar141934
Lowndes138653
Wilcox127030
Bullock123041
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa107128
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
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