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: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17010171
Hinds16091318
Harrison13250193
Rankin10629208
Jackson10216182
Lee8759141
Madison8186161
Jones6222109
Forrest5917118
Lauderdale5808180
Lowndes5309111
Lafayette491192
Lamar480465
Washington4770123
Bolivar3955106
Oktibbeha390380
Panola365076
Pontotoc361152
Monroe3521104
Warren344597
Union341458
Marshall339165
Neshoba3357152
Pearl River323295
Leflore2992105
Lincoln295685
Sunflower280469
Tate269560
Alcorn262653
Itawamba261159
Hancock260458
Pike259977
Scott244745
Prentiss244052
Yazoo242654
Tippah239749
Copiah239149
Simpson233967
Leake229564
Coahoma228554
Grenada217070
Covington210471
Marion208371
Adams203270
Winston199464
Wayne198730
George197938
Attala193158
Newton189142
Chickasaw182944
Tishomingo182159
Holmes168167
Jasper167735
Clay158233
Stone141520
Tallahatchie139234
Clarke137460
Calhoun135121
Smith119423
Yalobusha116134
Walthall111736
Noxubee110222
Greene109129
Montgomery109134
Carroll104121
Lawrence102117
Perry100531
Amite96825
Webster91924
Tunica86021
Claiborne85525
Jefferson Davis84025
Humphreys82624
Benton81023
Kemper76620
Quitman6838
Franklin65815
Choctaw60013
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53419
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 420681

Reported Deaths: 6119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61755921
Mobile30058548
Madison26852186
Tuscaloosa20652266
Montgomery18876305
Shelby18421114
Baldwin16176182
Lee12393101
Morgan12175113
Etowah11687168
Calhoun11078200
Marshall10158107
Houston8556148
Cullman7999105
Limestone796274
Elmore7783101
DeKalb767197
Lauderdale752883
St. Clair7502120
Talladega6145108
Walker5880174
Jackson578841
Colbert529873
Blount529283
Autauga515455
Coffee438156
Dale394381
Franklin365248
Chilton335365
Covington326968
Russell326810
Escambia316142
Dallas302896
Chambers281869
Clarke279633
Tallapoosa2607107
Pike247629
Marion244650
Lawrence242547
Winston225535
Bibb214447
Geneva199535
Marengo197829
Pickens196231
Hale175442
Barbour172336
Butler168458
Fayette167126
Cherokee160030
Henry152721
Monroe145017
Randolph138835
Washington137026
Clay126145
Crenshaw118644
Lamar117519
Cleburne117223
Macon114335
Lowndes109535
Wilcox102621
Bullock98728
Perry96919
Conecuh94220
Sumter88826
Greene75723
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 45°
Columbus
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 42°
Oxford
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Starkville
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 41°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather