Desoto County Schools will not shutdown despite rising COVID-19 cases

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — COVID-19 cases are increasing in Desoto County schools but there are no plans to shut the schools down.

Right now, 43 students have COVID-19 and hundreds are in quarantine.

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Superintendent Cory Uselton believed we saw an increase because 3,000 students switched from virtual to in-person learning in mid-October.

“We have more people in the classroom more students who are subject to quarantine,” said Uselton.

From November 2 to 6 DCS reported 43 students and 30 teachers are positive for COVID-19 while 406 students are being quarantined

Uselton said at the beginning of the year DCS started with 21,000 students in person.

Now there are about 25,000.

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Parents like Michelle Brignac were concerned about the increase in cases.

“Am I worried? Yes, but am I worried enough to take him out of school? No, I think it’s the best thing for him,” said Brignac.

Uselton believed community transmission was another factor causing the increase.

“While we know the cases are going up, the cases are going up in the community also and so we have to make sure to be vigilant to keep the number of cases and quarantine down,” said Uselton.

Uselton said a larger number of students from high school and middle school are quarantining because those students change classrooms during the day.

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He said right now he will not switch any schools to a virtual or hybrid program but he will consider it if he sees multiple COVID-19 clusters.

“When you have three or more cases in multiple classrooms that’s when you are starting to see it actually spread so we monitor that each week,” said Uselton.

Brignac said even though it’s risky, in-person learning is best for her son.

She believed the district did everything possible to keep students safe.

“Just making sure kids of that age be masked all the time it feeds upon itself so I think they are doing as well as they can,” said Brignac.

Even if it’s necessary to start virtual or hybrid learning, the Superintendent doesn’t plan on moving the whole district to it.

Instead, Uselton will make a decision based on the COVID-19 data from each individual school.