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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: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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