September 18, 2020

Nearly 4,500 Mississippi school students, staff quarantined due to coronavirus exposure

Nearly 4,500 Mississippi students, teachers and staff members were under quarantined Tuesday due to exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the state’s top health leader said.

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said 3,913 students and 584 teachers and staff under quarantine across the state.

Dobbs said last week the state located 144 new COVID-19 cases in teachers or school staff and another 292 cases in students.

Dobbs said the state health department identified 31 outbreaks related to schools.

“These numbers are not unexpected,” Gov. Tate Reeves said, adding that he was happy that thousands of other students are in classrooms and learning.

Several school districts across the state have had to quarantine large swathes of students, in at least one case the entire school, Biloxi High School, has had to close in-person classes due to such a high level of coronavirus exposures.

“It’s going to happen,” Dobbs said. “Please don’t have parties.”

Dobbs urged parents to not host parities or allow their children to attend them.

“Not only are you putting them at risk, but you’re putting the entire educational system at risk,” he said.

Reeves said others in the state need to look at Biloxi High School, who he said did the right thing by shutting down due to exposure, and make the “necessary decisions” to avoid having to shut down by doing the little things that will help keep the education system safe.