Over 400 students quarantined during first week of school in Marion School District

Marion, Ark. — UPDATE O8/03/21: Marion School District announced Tuesday an additional 253 students and employees in quarantine since school reopened on July 26.

According to a release, a total of 18 positive COVID-19 have been reported.

The 18 positive cases resulted in 253 quarantines, meaning now over 400 students and employees are in quarantine.

Chelsea Curtis is 15 years old. She wears her mask to school every day at Marion Junior High because she’s concerned she will catch the virus.

Right now, many of her classmates are in quarantine.

“It’s weird going to school and like we just got to school and it’s really weird seeing all those folks gone already and it’s only the second week of school,” said Curtis.

So far, 15 students and three staff members tested positive for COVID district-wide after the first week of school.

Because of this, the district said over 400 students and 7 teachers are currently in quarantine.

“A couple of my friends been quarantined and they are home right now, they got sent home yesterday for COVID,” said Curtis.

In a release, the district said if all the students and teachers were wearing a mask properly the cases would be isolated.

Right now, under Act 1002, public schools can’t require face masks for students or staff but this could change.

Tuesday afternoon, Governor Asa Hutchinson called for a special legislative session to lift the ban.

RELATED: Arkansas Gov. requests legislative action on ban on mask mandates and unemployment

“We want those children to be as safe as possible, local school districts are all different across the state and they have different wishes of parents and their constituents. The local school district should make the call,” said Gov. Hutchinson.

Curtis agrees with the Governor. She said if cases get too out of hand she wouldn’t mind going to virtual school.

“I wanna change schools right now because you know the school, the hallways be crowded and you be trying to get down the stairs,” said Curtis.

Gov. Hutchinson said he wants to give public schools permission to put mask mandates in place again because he’s worried about students under the age of 12 who can’t get vaccinated.

The special session will start on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Multiple Marion School District students and staff members have been quarantined in the first week of school after being exposed to COVID-19, according to a spokesperson for the school district.

According to Marion School District, a total of 171 people, including students and staff members, have been quarantined during the first week of school.

The schools reopened on July 26. Since then, 168 students and three staff members have been quarantined, said a spokesperson.

According to the school district, seven students and three staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

Ten students and 15 staff members were able to avoid quarantine since they were vaccinated, said a spokesperson.

The Marion School District is offering a $200 stipend to staff members who have documented proof of vaccination.

Marion School District will be hosting a community vaccination clinic from 1 to 6 p.m. on Aug 4, also a staff vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug 12. Those vaccination clinics will be held in Patriot Arena.