COVID-19 impacts public schools in Northeast Arkansas

by George Jared ([email protected]) 1,077 views 

Schools throughout Northeast Arkansas re-opened by Aug. 26 per state mandate and now some in the region have reported spikes in COVID-19 among their student populations.

The Lawrence County School District has at least two confirmed cases and another 15 under quarantine that stem from the high school football team, according to the school district. The team has cancelled its game on Friday (Sept. 11) against East Poinsett County.

It will resume its season the following week, according to district social media posts.

“The administration and school health officials have followed the guidelines of contact tracing set forth by the Department of Health. The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost importance and we will continue to work closely with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to monitor the situation,” the district said in a statement obtained by KATV.

Lawrence County isn’t alone in spikes of COVID-19 cases. The Cedar Ridge School District announced its high school will go all virtual this week after several positive tests. It will cancel athletic events through Sept. 18. School administrators will re-evaluate the situation to determine if in-class instruction will resume next week.

Cases and deaths related to COVID-19 continue to envelop Northeast Arkansas. In Craighead County, there have been 2,139 confirmed cases – by far the most in the region. At least 15 people have died from the virus in the region’s most populous city, as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

Crittenden County reported 1,748 cases with a region high 36 deaths. It was followed by Mississippi County with 1,442 cases and 34 deaths. St. Francis County has had 1,377 cases with four deaths. Lawrence County has had 271 cases with 11 deaths, while Greene County reported 674 cases and six deaths.