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Schools in north Arkansas dealing with coronavirus cases and quarantining

Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 3:59 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - If you’re in close contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus in the community you’re recommended to quarantine for two weeks.

“We started losing staff not necessarily because they tested positive, but because they had to go into quarantine,” said Searcy County Superintendent Alan Yarbrough.

Because of that, Searcy County School District had to switch to virtual learning for high school students until at least September 11.

The district has had three staff members and three students test positive.

Over in Harrison, they aren’t releasing many details for privacy purposes.

”We’ve received guidance from the state. They have let us know that any cases under five we’re not to share because it would be easy for people possibly to figure out who the person is,” said Susan Gilley, the executive director of federal programs and instructional technology at Harrison School District.

In each case, health leaders or the school district will let you know if you should quarantine.

”If you don’t receive a phone call in that situation, then you know you were not one of the people involved,” Gilley said.

Searcy County has even taken it one step further to keep people informed.

”In our district we’ve actually hired extra personnel to help us trace those situations when they come up,” Yarbrough said.

Some parents said it’s concerning to hear about local cases, but they understand the school is doing what it can given the situation.

”I do trust Harrison School as well that if my child were in any kind situation that I would need to know about over this, they would’ve called me,” said Anne Hubbard, a parent of students that go to Harrison School District.

Harrison School leaders said parents have done a great job of communicating back to them as well.

”Whether someone in their family is testing, or they have a student that they feel might not feel very well, they are communicating every day,” Gilley said.

Students that do have to quarantine are able to virtually learn during that time.

Mountain Home School District announced Monday that an employee at Hackler Intermediate School tested positive for COVID-19. This positive test resulted in two additional employees and one student being identified as probable close contacts, and they were contacted individually.

Jasper School District in Newton County also announced Monday a student tested positive for COVID-19. The student has been directed to quarantine according to applicable guidelines and close contacts will be directed to do the same.

For the latest updates on Searcy County School District, go to their Facebook page or website.

For the latest updates on Harrison School District, go to their Facebook page or website.

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