Marked Tree School District faces increase in COVID-19 cases

Marked Tree School District faces increase in COVID-19 cases

MARKED TREE, Ark. (KAIT) - Marked Tree School District has seen an increase in coronavirus cases, leading them to close the school and move to virtual instruction on Oct. 7.

Marked Tree School District has 13 confirmed coronavirus cases.

Out of the 13 confirmed cases, nine of those are students, and four are the staff.

Ten of the cases are in the high school, while three are in the elementary school.

As of Oct. 13, nine staff members and 83 students are in quarantine.

The district plans to return to in-person learning on Oct. 19.

Superintendent Matt Wright says they are monitoring the situation and will adjust accordingly.

He believes that “the way things are going now,” they will be able to return.

Wright believes that in-person learning is critical because of the social environment but respects those who choose virtual learning.

Wright says he thinks the district is doing everything they can for the safety of students and staff.

“I think that we’ve done somewhat of a good job. We rode along for six weeks, and we had just a few students that were quarantined. We never had a problem, and this all happened at once. Our staff and students did a great job those first few weeks, but unfortunately, we had a student come in, and I guess, it just spread like wildfire throughout the school and community,” Wright said.

Wright says that they plan to tighten up current cleaning procedures.

Custodians clean and fog facilities daily.

Teachers wipe down desks each time class changes.

Wright says that contact tracing shows that most cases are not spread within the school. The biggest culprit for in-school spreads comes from the athletic department and the high school.

Most cases are contracted from outside forces.

Wright says this makes it essential for the whole community to do their part by wearing a mask and following CDC guidelines.

Marked Tree School District has mental health tips for students and families during the pandemic.

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