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Masks required in Tupelo Schools

Students and staff in the Tupelo Public School District must wear masks to start off the new school year.

Posted: Aug 2, 2021 4:22 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2021 10:44 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Students and staff in the Tupelo Public School District will once again put on their masks for the start of the new school year.

The school board made the decision this afternoon after meeting with staff from the North Mississippi Medical Center.

People had mixed opinion's about the board's decision to enforce a mask mandate today.

“Unfortunately, the school board is not tailoring their policy to be one that is for optimization for each child’s individual health and well being," said Melanie Riley.

Riley said she disagrees with the new TPSD mandate. She attended today’s board meeting, but members took no public comments or questions.

Riley shared her concerns with WTVA after the meeting.

“I believe that parents should have a choice, if we’re talking about public health, public health isn't about one issue which is a virus," said Riley. "Public health is also about mental emotional health, respiratory health of all individuals.”

Unlike Riley, Lela Green said she was relieved to hear that her grandchild and classmates will have to wear a mask in the classroom. She said her grandchild is too young to be vaccinated, so she thinks this is the safest way for her to learn.

“My grandchild is only nine, so she can not get vaccinated," said Green. "So this is the only safety measure that we can take at this time... so yeah, I’m all for it.”

When Dr. Malinda Prewitt with the NMMC addressed the board today, she said the Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading quickly among children, and among adults aged 30 to 50. That's a common age group of teachers and other staff in the district.

The board approved the mask mandate shortly after Prewitt’s presentation.

Superintendent Dr. Rob Picou said the district is already dealing with cases among the band, softball team and some teachers.

“We start getting kids together for the first time in extracurricular activities for the first time and boom we start getting cases," said Picou. "The number of teachers that are already positive leads me to believe that everything I hear, this COVID strand, this variant, could be a lot more... hopefully not, but could be worse than we originally thought.”

Vaccinated or not, students and staff are required to wear a mask. The board is expected to meet again in the next couple of weeks to discuss when the district can drop the mandate.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 468498

Reported Deaths: 9100
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison31907468
Hinds30552569
DeSoto29532342
Jackson22868335
Rankin21016355
Lee14393214
Madison13961263
Jones13053215
Forrest12879231
Lauderdale11244292
Lowndes10148171
Lamar9972122
Pearl River8569208
Lafayette8008136
Hancock7110107
Oktibbeha6764117
Washington6756146
Neshoba6350200
Monroe6304156
Warren6267159
Panola6036122
Pontotoc599292
Bolivar5960143
Marshall5917115
Union558885
Pike5424133
Lincoln5192127
Alcorn509388
George454766
Scott447392
Leflore4377138
Tippah431780
Itawamba429192
Prentiss429074
Copiah423883
Simpson4238108
Wayne419663
Tate418999
Adams4174109
Yazoo411486
Sunflower4057104
Covington404891
Marion399699
Leake389784
Coahoma385996
Newton360273
Grenada3489100
Stone342657
Tishomingo320987
Attala318285
Jasper308261
Winston298191
Clay282672
Chickasaw277464
Clarke271784
Holmes257685
Calhoun256939
Smith241546
Yalobusha215447
Tallahatchie213849
Walthall203457
Lawrence202431
Greene202045
Perry195053
Amite191251
Webster191141
Noxubee173437
Montgomery168652
Jefferson Davis164041
Carroll158936
Tunica146533
Benton137531
Kemper136538
Claiborne124134
Choctaw123824
Humphreys122036
Franklin114127
Quitman100925
Wilkinson98335
Jefferson85832
Sharkey61620
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 757893

Reported Deaths: 12784
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1082301712
Mobile694251158
Madison47738562
Baldwin35347420
Shelby34758281
Tuscaloosa32576495
Montgomery32249645
Lee21576200
Calhoun19621363
Morgan19061307
Etowah18363413
Marshall17028252
Houston15881337
St. Clair14724270
Limestone13908178
Elmore13812239
Cullman13756228
Lauderdale12909263
Talladega12124200
DeKalb11705220
Walker10047303
Autauga9371119
Blount9272146
Jackson8970132
Coffee8550150
Colbert8229160
Dale8162142
Escambia632298
Tallapoosa6255165
Covington6214153
Chilton6152128
Russell586753
Franklin558292
Chambers5155127
Dallas4569173
Marion4490114
Clarke447070
Pike439188
Geneva415999
Lawrence4002101
Winston399982
Bibb388975
Barbour334667
Marengo317778
Monroe306844
Butler305878
Pickens296166
Henry288550
Randolph288255
Hale282981
Cherokee275649
Fayette268569
Washington241844
Crenshaw226962
Clay219260
Macon211154
Cleburne205746
Lamar184638
Conecuh173337
Lowndes167856
Coosa160031
Wilcox153033
Bullock145642
Perry132430
Sumter122635
Greene117941
Choctaw71925
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 85°
Columbus
Cloudy
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Hi: 78° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 75°
Oxford
Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 79°
Starkville
Mostly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 89°
The combo of a no named front and former tropical system Nicholas' leftovers will continue leave us with some pretty decent chances for some showers and thunderstorms over the next several days.
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