Monroe County School District works to combat spread of COVID-19

MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Even though we may not be seeing as many cases, COVID-19 has not gone away. And with the beginning of a new school year, numbers are beginning to climb again.

That has some school districts reviewing and reviving their precautions to avoid the outbreaks and shutdowns we’ve seen in the past.

Monroe County schools just welcomed their students back to campus Wednesday. And they are trying to make sure that one familiar visitor doesn’t return: COVID.

Hamilton Attendance Center Principal Michelle Stevens says she never thought in her 25 years of education that educators would have to be on high alert about health on campus.

But the past three years have been different than anything most teachers and administrators have seen.

Thanks to some government funding, Stevens has helped combat the unwanted germs.

“We did purchase with ESSER money each classroom fogger, so we do it for our classrooms on a weekly basis. We also fog our buses down and different areas of campus,” Stevens said.

With a campus of over 630 students from Kindergarten to 12th grade, Stevens said that thanks to her staff, her campus has avoided outbreaks.

“We never had to shut our campus down for any length of time because our teachers were really good about following protocols to make sure we spread students out in the classroom,” Stevens said.

One way Monroe County schools have taken precautions is by adding family nurse practitioners on campus for testing and wellness checks for students and staff. Nurse Practitioner Alisha Parham said a few simple rules help keep everybody safe.

“We want to keep doing the normal things that we do, hand washing, covering our mouth, and if we are sick, staying home,” said Parham.

And just a reminder, the school policy states.

“If they test positive, they stay home for five days, and once they are symptom-free for 24 hours, they can return after that,” said Stevens.

Monroe County School Superintendent Chad O’Brian said that the school district will follow the CDC guidelines in case the students or staff contract COVID-19.

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