100 students sent home from Gulfport High after teacher shows symptoms of COVID-19

100 students sent home from Gulfport High after teacher shows symptoms of COVID-19
Dozens of students at Gulfport High have been sent home after coming into contact with a teacher who may have COVID. (Source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Dozens of students at Gulfport High School have been sent home after coming into contact with a teacher who may have COVID-19. Gulfport School District public relations director Sandy Commer-East has one message for parents.

“This is not an outbreak. This is not where a bunch of people are sick. This is a possibility where somebody might test positive,” Commer-East said. “If the person tests negative, we’ll call everybody, and the kids can come right back to school.”

According to a release from Gulfport High School, the staff member began showing symptoms but has not yet tested positive. The teacher is being tested on Tuesday.

As a precaution, the teacher and approximately 100 students were sent home to quarantine for 14 days. With 1,802 students enrolled at the high school this year, that means more than 5% of students are now quarantined for two weeks.

East said those students will receive virtual instruction for the next two weeks while waiting for the teacher’s test results.

“We were able to pull the students, immediately call the parents, immediately have them picked up,” East said. “Nobody is showing symptoms in the class. We have a co-teacher in there, that person isn’t showing symptoms. We’re just doing this out of an abundance of caution. We don’t want anybody to get sick.”

Canary Wilborn is a parent of two Gulfport High School students who have opted for virtual learning. Wilborn believes virtual learning is the safest option.

“The kids, they are mature enough and they know that if I want to be successful I have to do school,” Wilborn said. “I think they would do good at home virtual learning. So why even expose them?”

The press release noted that both the students and the teacher have socially distanced and worn masks in class. The only exception allowed for masks is during lunch while students are eating.

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