Classroom in the pandemic

As students in the DeSoto County Schools district returned to classes for the spring semester, the district saw a decrease in new cases compared to numbers reported in the final weeks of the fall semester.

The district reported 52 total new cases, with 32 students and 20 staff members testing positive for the virus.

Additionally, 290 students were quarantined last week following possible exposure. At the end of last semester, the number of new cases averaged over 100 each week, and new student quarantines averaged over 525 each week. DCS Superintendent Cory Uselton attributes this drop to students being home for the holidays.

“We are appreciative of the cooperation between our students, parents, teachers, and staff as they follow COVID procedures in the school setting. It has definitely been a team effort,” Uselton said. “Our positive case numbers and quarantines from the week of January 4th are lower than normal because of transition from the Christmas holidays. Some students tested positive during the Christmas break and did not attend school at all last week. Because they did not attend school while positive for COVID-19, that led to a decrease in the number of quarantines.”

In contrast to the numbers reported by schools, COVID-19 is spreading through the county faster than ever before, according to the number of new cases reported each day.

DeSoto County’s rate of transmission falls into the “severe outbreak” threshold, according to one model used by health experts.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, DeSoto County has reported 16,358 cases and 155 deaths, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. The county is reporting 87.7 new daily cases per 100,000 residents, and the positive test rate sits at about 21.9%.

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