Two classes at McLaurin Elementary participating in distance learning because of COVID-19

Published 1:09 pm Thursday, September 2, 2021

NATCHEZ — Two classes at McLaurin Elementary School are participating in distance-learning after students and staff there tested positive for COVID-19, a news release from Natchez Adams School District states.

NASD Public Communications Director Ernest “Tony” Fields confirmed Thursday that one teacher and one student who had been in close contact with both classes tested COVID-19 positive on Thursday morning and are isolated at home.

Additionally, the school district has made a hard push to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by adopting a vaccination incentive for employees, using COVID-19 federal relief funds to purchase over $1 million worth of air purifiers for all of the schools and with parents permission conducting a weekly randomized COVID-19 screening on students, Fields said.

“Screenings were conducted on several other staff members and students that returned negative for COVID-19,” school officials said in the news release. “The Natchez-Adams School District is working very closely with the Mississippi Department of Health and following CDC recommendations for guidance in mitigating this outbreak to protect everyone’s health.  We want to assure the community, students and staff of NASD, and their family members that steps are being taken to protect students and staff to minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

School officials said the parents of the students who were in close contact with those who tested COVID-19 positive in those classes will be notified and children whose parents give consent will be tested for COVID-19.

Only the two classes with students and staff who tested positive for COVID will be transitioned to virtual learning starting Thursday, Sept. 2, and will return to on-campus learning on Monday, Sept. 13. A deep cleaning of all the classrooms would be done before the return of students and staff, school officials said.

People can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in schools with the following steps:

  • Limit nonessential trips into the community
  • Stay home when sick and do not send students to school if ill
  • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19, Which include fever and chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, fatigue and body/muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea
  • Sign consent for district personnel to test students for COVID-19
  • Frequently wash your hands and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve
  • Keep a physical distance of at least three feet from anyone not a part of your household

“The Natchez-Adams School District does not release the names of students or staff that have tested positive for COVID-19 to ensure the privacy of individuals and their families.

The Natchez-Adams School District will continue to require masks because COVID-19 can be spread by asymptomatic people, meaning people who are not experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Please help us as we do our best to keep our schools open and provide valuable in-person instruction for our students,” the release states.