Local parents share back to school risk concerns in the age of coronavirus

Local parents share back to school risk concerns in the age of coronavirus

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -School districts around the state have different reopening plans. But for many parents, the worry about reopening in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis is universal.

Erin McKenzie has two girls going into kindergarten and fourth grade. She knows the impact COVID-19 is having on their community in Pike County, but her girls will be going back on a traditional schedule.

“Because of our work schedules we don’t really have the option to send our children virtually because we don’t have anybody to watch them,” said McKenzie.

Still, she worries.

“Hopefully that their little immune systems are better and they’ll be safe,” added McKenzie. “I mean, I will just have to pray about it. Hopefully they’ll get through it and not bring it home and transmit to anybody else. I don’t know... it’s just scary.”

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs tweeting Friday morning about the likelihood that spread will happen in schools.

And we may already be seeing evidence of how it can happen. The Corinth School District was the first in the state to reopen Monday. Friday, they shared someone at the high school has tested positive.

COVID-19 Announcement 7-31-20

Posted by Corinth School District on Friday, July 31, 2020

And the North Pike School District superintendent confirms three students tested positive after participating in an extra curricular activity. He notes that hundreds of students have participated in extracurricular activities throughout the summer and those are the only cases they’re aware of.

Thomasina Tory feels fortunate to have the option to keep her 12 and 13-year-old sons at home for distance learning, especially since she is caring for her elderly mother and uncle in her home.

“We’ve had outbreaks of strep and it spread like wildfire,” explained Tory. “So, little things like that, if you can’t control an outbreak of strep in a school. Parents that got to send their kids to school are going to bring them to school. And what if this child’s not showing immediate symptoms? Or all parents are not honest and say, ‘Hey, my child was around Uncle Jim that had COVID.‘”

Districts around the state had until Friday to submit their reopening plans to the state. Governor Tate Reeves has said he plans to review those plans over the weekend.

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