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Some parents worried about rising COVID-19 cases ahead of school year

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 7:26 AM CDT
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MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - The number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Mississippi, giving some parents a little anxiety about the upcoming school year.

This week, Mississippi reported its highest number of COVID cases since late January. The recent uptick in cases has state health officials recommending that all students and staffs wear masks inside schools, regardless whether or not they are vaccinated.

Most students will start heading back to school beginning next year, prompting some parents to be concerned.

At Presley’s Outing in Franklin Creek on Wednesday, families were out enjoying the sunshine and the last days of summer vacation. For mom Sandy Riva, the first day back to school has her a little worried.

“Oh Lord. Not again,” said Riva. “I know COVID is here. COVID is going to stay.”

With cases on the rise, Pastor Jonathan Greer said he has already began stocking up on cleaning supplies.

“There’s lots of Clorox wipes, and we’re making sure everything is clean,” he said. “Coming back to school also means a lot of people coming back to church with their kids on Wednesday nights and Sunday nights, and so obviously we’re always sanitizing and keeping things clean.”

Greer, a father himself, says one of the most concerning aspects aside from actually getting the coronavirus is the policies and procedures districts will have to implement to keep students and staff safe. Many of those directly impact the involvement of parents, said Greer.

“Last year, we were not involved in his education at all because we couldn’t be. You couldn’t go up to the school. You couldn’t do those parent-teacher conferences. You couldn’t go up and drop off food for the class, like you could before COVID,” Greer said. “It kind of looks like we’re going to be getting back to that. It always makes me feel more confident when I can be involved in my son’s education.”

A return to the classroom that Riva says she fears may not last very long.

“I’m kind of nervous. I’ve been hearing a lot of people that I know here lately that has it,” said Riva. “We want to try and stay away from them as much as possible because school is important and they need to go back to school.”

So far, no districts in South Mississippi have issued mandates requiring masks. However, several school districts are recommending it in accordance to the guidance from the Mississippi Department of Health and the CDC.

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