JONESBORO — Local schools report little change in their COVID-19 numbers although transmission rates have remained high in Craighead County since mid-November.
Schools report a bit of fluctuation, but overall about the same as the numbers remain fairly steady.
Nettleton School District reported that its numbers were up a little bit but not as high as they have seen in the past with five faculty and 11 students out as of last Friday.
“We are keeping a close eye on the numbers,” Superintendent Karen Curtner said, “but honestly, we haven’t seen much of a difference since we made masks optional. The effectiveness of masks are beginning to seem questionable and with a new variant we just don’t know what to expect.”
Valley View School District also reported no real rise with one student and one faculty member positive and 25 in quarantine as of last Thursday.
“However, of those in quarantine there was no active cases with the exception of the two,” said Superintendent Bryan Russell. “They are in quarantine because of possible close contact.”
Brookland School District reported steady numbers as well on Friday, with the exception of the pre-K, which was higher.
“We are about where we have been with the exception of the pre-K,” Superintendent Keith McDaniel said Friday, “because the younger the students are, the harder it is to keep them separated. Of the 57 students and faculty cases, 21 are out of the pre-K.”
McDaniel added that if cases rise above 10 percent for any building, masks will be required again for that building and any buses that transport students from that building until the numbers drop back down.
Westside Consolidated School District reported that its numbers were still relatively low on Monday.
“We had six new positive cases last week with only 13 quarantines,” Superintendent Scott Gauntt wrote in an email. “Those numbers include both faculty and staff. So out of the approximate 2,100 people on campus, we only had six new positives last week, which is a rate of .285 percent and 13 quarantines, which is a rate of .619 percent. So less than 1 percent of our staff and students are involved with COVID-19 protocols at this point.”
Jonesboro School District report no real change either on Monday.
“We have not noticed any changes as of today. Hopefully, this will continue.” Assistant Superintendent William Cheatham wrote in an email.
Cheatham added that the district’s numbers could be found through a link on its website at the JPS COVID-19 Dashboard. According to the dashboard, as of Dec. 3 there were three active student cases and one faculty with 25 in quarantine.
As of Nov 29, Brookland, Nettleton and Westside school districts case numbers were at 30 to 49 per 10,000 over a 14-day period, followed by the Valley View school at 20 to 29, and then Jonesboro School District at 10 to 19, according to Arkansas Center for Health Improvement website, https://achi.net/covid19/.