September 22, 2020

Approximately 4,000 Mississippi K-12 students, staff quarantined last week due to possible virus exposure, state reports

Mississippi eased its crowd restrictions on high school sporting events Monday as the state reported nearly 4,000 school students, teachers and faculty were quarantined due to potential coronavirus exposure last week and nearly 375 new cases were found in schools.

“Nothing is without risk, but we have to allow life to go on,” Reeves said at a Monday afternoon news conference.

State epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said he’s been pleased by the responses of schools across the state.

“I’ve been real encouraged from what we’ve seen with the schools so far,” Byers said. “By and large the schools that we’ve been working with are really working really hard to identify cases within the school setting and to get those individuals quarantined or excluded from school.”

Byers said that last week (from August 24 through August 28) 123 new cases of COVID-19 were found in teachers and staff and 251 new cases in students.

Approximately 3,500 students were quarantined last week, Byers said, with another 450 teachers and staff quarantined last week.

“The next 10 days are critical,” Reeve said. “We are about where we were just before July 4. We were in the range of 700 cases per day, on average. The next 10 days are critical because we have an opportunity to really shoot the numbers down.”