Corinth School District officials say procedures worked and the district remains committed to a safe and healthy school year after a Corinth High School student tested positive for the COVID-19 virus this week.
The district started the school year on Monday with classes on all of its campuses and strict procedures in place for temperature and other screening, social distancing, mask use, disinfection, and numerous other efforts to protect against the potential transmission of the virus.
On Friday the district issued a statement notifying parents and the public of a student testing positive at the high school.
Superintendent Dr. Lee Childress said the district’s procedures for responding to a positive test were immediately put into action including contact tracing to identify and notify anyone who was in close contact with the positive student. Those individuals are required to be quarantined for 14 days from last known contact and will not be allowed to attend school or any school activities, though students can continue to do their classwork online and not be counted as absent.
He noted they also issued the statement to the public as soon as possible as part of their commitment to being transparent with the community about all of their plans, procedures, and actions.
Childress said the district’s plans for responding to a positive case worked and he and other district leaders have been and remain in close contact with the Mississippi State Department of Health to review and evaluate all health and safety procedures. He said MSDH officials have been very pleased with the district’s plans.
He hopes the one positive case does not overshadow the great start the district has seen to the school year.
“We had a great first week back at school. Teachers and students were excited to see each other,” he said.
Childress said teachers, staff, students, and all others have done an excellent job of learning and following the new procedures.
“I want to assure parents that teachers and staff will continue to follow all procedures. We’re going to take every measure we need to,” he said.
“We are committed to taking all steps we can to make sure students are safe,” he said.
The superintendent said detailed plans to respond to a positive case were part of their return to school plans from the beginning because they understood it was bound to happen, just as it has happened in other districts around the country which have also returned to on-campus learning.
Childress said it’s vital for everyone both inside and outside the school district to remain committed to taking every step possible to slow the spread of the virus. It’s important to understand just because a student tests positive does not mean they were actually exposed to the virus at school, he said. Everyone has a responsibility to take protective measures and follow all guidelines within the community to slow the spread.
He also continues to ask parents to help them reduce the risk by not sending students to school if they are sick or are awaiting test results as well as if anyone in their family has tested positive or is awaiting results due to a possible exposure.