August 13, 2020 10:15:16 AM
Since the July 30th peak of 1,775 cases reported, Mississippi has averaged 1,007 cases per day. Daily Journal education reporter Blake Alsup reported on some schools in our area reopening last week, as Johns Hopkins University reported Mississippi now has the highest test positivity rate in the nation, with a weekly average of 25.8%.
We are not seeing a decline in cases fast enough, and Mississippians must be vigilant in their mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing. This is more important now than ever. Our kids in Tupelo, Lee County and all over Northeast Mississippi are headed back to school.
Tupelo Public Schools just announced a delay to the start of its school year, from Wednesday, Aug. 12 to Monday, Aug. 17. In order to prevent outbreaks at schools we need parents to reinforce the value of the protection protocols and adhere to them. We also need to look beyond the current plans. Are our schools taking advantage of all facilities available for classrooms? We hope conversations are happening to look at the former Tupelo Automobile Museum and BancorpSouth Arena as potential options to get us through the fall semester.
These facilities are not being used for events but could allow both the city and county schools to spread out. There is obvious parking space available, and our belief is we must leave no stone unturned as we get kids back into the classroom. With access to reliable internet an issue in some of our communities, those students must have face-to-face instruction. The most vulnerable in our society that we struggle to educate in perfect conditions cannot be left behind because we could not find a way to get kids and teachers back together.
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