PARAGOULD — The worst part of having COVID-19 was her burning nose and a pins-and-needles sensation in her sinuses.
Lori Dial, theater director for Greene County Tech High School, said she began feeling a little off on the evening of Oct. 15.
“Both my husband and I started having a few symptoms on the 15th,” Dial said.
The following day, Dial said both her and her husband, Jamie Dial, who is principal at Oak Grove Middle School in the Paragould School District, were given rapid tests.
“We both tested positive,” she said.
Dial said her husband’s case of the virus was bit more severe than hers, noting he ran a fever and had a cough, but both survived and were on the mend five days after contracting the virus.
“On day five, when I started feeling better, I lost my sense of taste and smell,” she said.
Dial said she is not certain where the couple caught the virus.
“We had both been so good with precautions,” she said.
Having to quarantine in her home while trying to keep her 11-year-old daughter from contracting the disease was a challenge.
“She never caught it,” Dial said.
It was a blessing to have had such a mild case, she said, noting, “I really don’t know how I escaped it.”
Dial said she has many pre-existing conditions, which placed her in the more vulnerable category. Dial said she has a heart condition and high blood pressure and takes medicine for both.
A major surgery in February had Dial making some lifestyle changes, which included a vitamin regimen of zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D3, and elderberry.
“I have also become more active doing cardio,” she said.
Dial said experience with the pandemic is scary, but she feels a bit relieved to have contracted it and gotten through it.
“The scary thing with all this is you just don’t know how it is going to affect you,” she said.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health website, both Greene County Tech School District and Paragould School District have had numerous COVID-19 cases. Monday’s report from Arkansas Department of Health reflects the Paragould School District currently standing at 35 active cases, while Greene County Tech School District stands at 33 active cases.
One school district, Riverside, in Lake City, does not have information available on the Arkansas Department of Health website, but the school district’s Point of Contact person, Brandy Wallace, said they are battling cases of COVID-19 within the school’s population.
“We have been lucky; we have not had five positive cases in the building except one time,” Wallace said. “I feel like we have put in a lot of preventative measures.”
Wallace said students in all grades have to wear masks, all students get daily temperature checks, and all students with fever or displaying any symptoms get sent home immediately.
“The teachers have been really diligent in making sure all students stay 6 feet away,” she said. “Wallace said there are even measures on the playground to help cut down on transmission of the virus.
“On the playgrounds, they play in pods so they are only around a certain group of people,” she said. “A lot of the things we have done have kept a lot of students out of quarantine.”
Bay school district has also had cases of the virus, but has one of the lowest cumulative staff cases in the state with just six staff members testing positive for the virus since mid-June.
Bay Superintendent Luke Lovins said the district is doing as well as anybody can be doing.
“That six number is a direct result of the diligence and hard work of the staff,” he said. “We are in the middle of a spike, and we continue to take the same precautions.”
Students from the ages of 10 and up are required to wear masks, and Lovins said teachers and other staff are doing all they can do to keep everything sanitized.
“We have been extremely lucky, with only 11 active cases and 31 total cases,” he said.