More than 20,000 Mississippi students in Covid quarantine after first week of school – .

More than 20,000 Mississippi students in Covid quarantine after first week of school – .

More than 20,000 Mississippi students are in quarantine due to exposure to Covid-19, which represents about 5% of the state’s students in public schools, according to state data.

As infection rates rise across the country due to the highly transmissible delta variant, Magnolia state has been particularly hard hit since students returned to class on August 9.

There were 20,334 students in quarantine after the first week of school that ended last Friday, according to data from the Mississippi State Department of Health.

During this week, 4,521 students also contracted the coronavirus, with a total of 5,933 students testing positive for the disease since the beginning of August, the health ministry reported.

Teachers and staff from the 803 schools that reported to the state from 74 counties also performed poorly.

State records show that 948 teachers and staff tested positive for Covid between August 9 and last Friday. A total of 1,496 teachers and staff have contracted the coronavirus since early August. And at the end of last week, 1,463 teachers and staff are quarantined due to exposure to Covid.

In Mississippi, less than 36% of residents are fully immunized, according to government data earlier this week.

Raleigh High School.Google

State epidemiologist Dr Paul Byers told reporters on Wednesday that the number of students in quarantine was “dramatic.”

“When you look at a number like 20,000 students who are in quarantine in any given week, that goes beyond what we went through… when we were at our previous peak of impact on schools. “

As a result, due to the high number of quarantines among students and staff, at least 29 schools have chosen to “go virtual for a short time in order to interrupt transmission,” Byers said.

Mississippi has seen a sharp rise in coronavirus infection rates among children ages 5 to 17, Byers said, with minors ages 6 to 10 making up a large portion of the new cases.

“This will potentially result in more hospitalizations of children under the age of 18. And unfortunately, we could see additional deaths, ”he said.

The best protection against Covid-19, said Byers, is for children 12 and older to get vaccinated with their parents.

A teenager died of complications from COVID-19 last weekend, marking the fifth death of a minor killed by coronavirus in the state, Byers said.

Mkayla Robinson, 13, was the child killed by the disease in her home country, according to her aunt, Megan Reed.

The eighth-grader died on Saturday, Reed said.

“I found out on Friday that it was a positive test. And then on Saturday she passed away. She was healthy, perfectly healthy, ”Reed told NBC News Wednesday.

Reed, from Atlanta, last saw Mkayla in August. She said her late niece was an A student who had Ivy League aspirations and played in the school band.

“She wanted to go to Harvard,” Reed said. “She was very smart, very caring, very kind. She was a nurturer. … It’s devastating for all of us.

On Wednesday afternoon, a GoFundMe fundraiser for Mkayla raised nearly $ 7,500 from 139 donors. The goal of the fundraiser is to raise $ 20,000.

A Facebook post from Raleigh High School student group Lion Pride described her as “the perfect student.”

“Every teacher loved her and wanted 30 more like her,” the post said. “Please pray for Raleigh Junior High, the band and especially the family as they face this. “

The Smith County School District Superintendent could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Governor Tate Reeves does not enforce masks in schools, but leaves that to school districts, reports NBC Mississippi affiliate WLBT. Reeves criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask policy, calling it “stupid” and “harmful.”

Several emergency field hospitals have opened in Mississippi since last week to deal with the increase in hospitalizations from the coronavirus. The state’s only children’s hospital has converted part of its garage into a makeshift hospital. The ground floor of the garage is now filled with air-conditioned tents, beds, monitors and oxygen.

Mississippi Public Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs knows that many who rush to the hospital will be young.

Unlike previous outbreaks, this wave is mostly affecting younger, unvaccinated people just as classes resume, Dobbs said. More children are hospitalized than ever, he said.

“Instead of seeing women bury their parents, we see women bury their children,” he said on Tuesday. “It’s a sad and heartbreaking thing. “


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