Parents at Hawkins Elementary School concerned about COVID

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:20 PM CST
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Parents in the Hattiesburg Public School District are speaking out after several students were sent home due to a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

Tanesha Hargon has a nephew who attends Hawkins Elementary School.

“As an adult, I can almost handle myself, but when it comes to those kids, they don’t know what to do, and they don’t know what to say, like, ‘Hey I think this is this’ They can’t control themselves when their coughing like we can and things like that,” says Hargon.

She says her nephew and several other students tested positive for COVID-19. Hattiesburg Public School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Williams confirmed it.

“We did have students that tested positive at Hawkins. There were 29 students that tested positive at Hawkins,” says Williams.

Williams says those students were sent home to be quarantined for at least five days. Hargon does not agree with how the district handled the situation.

“Now my only problem is… if that’s going to be the case, then why not shut the school down for a minute and sanitize it. Let the kids go virtual like these other schools are going virtual because of COVID,” says Hargon.

Williams says the district has measures in place to ensure safety. There is a mask mandate, and the school takes part in a state program that tests students and staff every week for COVID-19. Testing is voluntary.

“The goal of the testing is to make sure that we are removing students who test positive for COVID-19 from the learning environment to make sure that we’re providing a safe learning environment for all students,” says Williams.

He also says the district will continue to follow recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Williams also wants to remind families that students should not return to class until they are feeling better.

“In the event that a student is symptomatic, they are to stay out until they are no longer exhibiting symptoms and one of them is, they have to be fever-free for a minimum of 48 hours,” says Williams.

Williams says the district will continue to follow recommendations by the CDC. He also says the parents at Hawkins will be receiving information about the district’s COVID-19 rules and regulations.

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