COVID Update From WS Schools
Wed, 10/07/2020 - 12:11pm admin
5 cases among students, 7 among staff members
There were five new positive cases of COVID-19 among students last week in the Willow Springs R-IV School District, reported Superintendent of Schools Bill Hall. These five positive cases resulted in the quarantine of 18 additional students. These quarantines and positive cases have not impacted any extracurricular activities, and senior night went on Friday as planned.
As of the time of the interview on Friday, 31 pupils were excluded from school because of close contact to a positive COVID case. By the time you read this, 13 of those students will be back in school.
The presence of coronavirus in the school district had a noticeable impact on staff members last week. Seven staff members tested positive, and a total of 17 adults were quarantined as of Friday. 15 of those quarantines began last week. Hall pointed out, however, that not all the quarantines were due to exposure at school. Seven staff members are quarantined for close contact with a positive case outside their school life.
The school’s transportation staff has bounced back since that department was badly depleted by quarantines a couple weeks ago. Only one bus driver is missing work as of press time.
In the county at large, the Howell County Health Department reported an additional 40 cases on Friday. The year-to-date total of cases in the county is 870. 15 patients are hospitalized as of Friday. 30 of the new cases are in West Plains; two are in Mountain View; two are in Pomona; and one is in Pottersville. The five cases associated with the school are the five Willow Springs cases.
Commenting on the school year at large, Hall remains optimistic about the school’s efforts to minimize the impact of coronavirus at school.
“The positives will be what they are,” he said, “In the beginning, we were hit pretty hard. One case would take out [quarantine] kids. Now it seems when we get a positive case, there are less kids quarantined.”
He credited the students themselves for doing a better job of keeping distance at school.
“If you don’t want to be quarantined, you need to keep your distance,” he offered.
by Amanda Mendez, publisher