More than 18k students catch COVID-19 in first month of Mississippi school year

Source: The Hill | September 10, 2021 | Christian Spencer

The governor left mask requirements in schools up to districts.

Since August, 18,825 students in Mississippi have tested positive for COVID-19, according to state data. In the last week alone, more than 15,000 students had to quarantine due to a COVID-19 exposure. 

Teachers like Esther Newell told Business Insider, “The schools are chronically underfunded for decades, so I’m concerned about soap in the bathroom.”


The governor has previously described mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “foolish and harmful” and “not rational science,” Mississippi Today reports.

The governor stated last month that mask requirements should be left up to individual districts, according to Mississippi Today. 

“I believe that local school boards, the parents ought to be heard,” Reeves said in August, according to the outlet. “They (school boards) ought to open the floor and give the parents a chance to talk to their school board members because they are the elected officials.”

Newell told Business Insider that she is concerned over the lack of public health measures around masks and vaccines in schools. 

“There is no discussion around, at what point do we protect children over the economy,” Newell told Insider. “It seems like a question [Reeves] is successfully avoiding, and every level of it is concerning to me.”

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