Entire Mississippi school goes into quarantine after 15 students confirmed positive for coronavirus

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2020

An entire middle school in Mississippi is in quarantine after more than a dozen students tested positive for coronavirus.

Long Beach Middle School ordered Tuesday that all students be quarantined for two weeks beginning Wednesday, according to the school’s website. Students will return to the classroom on Oct. 14.

The news comes after 15 students tested positive for the virus, the school said. Another 165 students are under quarantine. In a statement, officials said they made the decision to temporarily shut down the school after 35% of students either tested positive or were exposed to the virus.

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The Mississippi Department of Health recommends that schools quarantine when 33% of students are positive or exposed.

Since the start of the pandemic, at least one other Mississippi school has had to quarantine all of its students because of a coronavirus outbreak. Biloxi High School sent all of its students home in late August after students were exposed at what State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs described as “unnecessary” social gatherings.

The state health department said Tuesday that Mississippi, with a population of about 3 million, has reported more than 97,000 cases and at least 2,957 deaths from COVID-19 as of Monday evening. That’s an increase of 589 confirmed cases and 36 deaths from numbers reported the day before, with 21 deaths occurring between Sept. 20 and Sept. 28 and identified later using death certificates.