Dear Jacket family,
An increase in Covid-positive cases is being reported across our state and region, including our school district.
The health and wellness of our students, staff and families is our first priority, and it is important to me that you are informed and aware of our District's current status.
The number of Covid-19 positive cases in the Starkville Oktibbeha School District this week with 14 confirmed positive cases is higher than any previous week since school began in August.
The District continues to follow all guidelines for case reporting and responding from the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) for K-12 schools.
The varsity football program is quarantined after five Covid-positive cases were confirmed. An elementary school classroom and varsity girl's basketball team are also quarantined after three Covid-positive cases were confirmed in each group.
MSDH defines an outbreak as three or more confirmed positive cases in a single group.
MSDH also recommends quarantines for close contacts, which is defined as within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or longer within a 24 hour period.
The District reports our Covid-positive cases, along with close contacts and quarantines weekly. This information, including an archive of past weeks, is available on our website at www.starkvillesd.com/covid19.
Every member of our school district team is also committed to following all of our safety protocols as outlined in our return to school guide, which is available at www.starkvillesd.com/covid19, to reduce spread of Covid-19 and mitigate risks associated with this virus. The District's positive case response for isolation periods, quarantines for close contacts and outbreaks and school closings are outlined on page 23 of the return to school guide.
In addition, the District's leadership team participates in a weekly video conference with the Mississippi Department of Health, including Dr. Thomas Dobbs and Dr. Paul Byers, to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest data, trends and guidance for K-12 schools. You can review the latest guidance for K-12 schools from the MSDH here: https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/9917.pdf
Please encourage your child to self-monitor as a precaution and continue to wear a mask, practice good hand-washing hygiene regularly, and observe six feet of distance from other individuals and avoid large social gatherings. If your child exhibits any symptoms of Covid-19, please do not allow them to attend school. For questions about symptoms or whether your child should report to school, please refer to our decision-making flow chart found at https://www.starkvillesd.com/covid19/flowchart.
All of us share a personal responsibility to keep each member of our Jacket family safe and healthy. Thank you for your continued support of these efforts to help us stay safe together.