Second Monett student tests positive for COVID-19

Saturday, September 5, 2020

More than 60 students quarantined until Friday

A second student at Monett High School has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The student was last at school on Aug. 29, and the case is not related to the first case or a result of community spread at the campus. The student was also masked while on campus.

Russ Moreland, Monett superintendent, said the district has notified all students who were potentially exposed, and the Health Department will contact those required to quarantine.

Following the first positive, about 30 students were quarantined. Now, following the second, about 62 total students are quarantined.

With 758 attending the first day of school in Monett, including virtual students, the number of quarantined students accounts for 8 percent of the student body.

Moreland said the risk of other students catching COVID-19 at the campus is low, however, all students and parents should continue to check for symptoms daily.

“Who knows what will happen by Tuesday, but the majority of those quarantined will be back by Friday,” Moreland said. “While on quarantine, they are using alternate methods of instruction, which is a DESE virtual education program.”

Moreland said while the number of quarantined students may seem large, it would be much larger if the district was not taking precautions.

“I am adamant that the things we are doing are keeping it from being much bigger,” he said. “If you can’t identify to the Health Department who has been a close contact and who hasn’t, they would quarantine whole classes or busses.”

Moreland said moving forward, the most likely things to cause another wellness break would be a lack of staff or a dramatic increase in positive cases.

“If we had a lot of positive cases, it would be different,” he said. “At the secondary level, it’s tougher to social distance all the time. We have talked about all the ‘what ifs,’ and we would have to go a different direction if a lot of staff were quarantined or the positive rate in a building was higher. But, we aren’t going to jump ship when we are so close to having these students back.”

Moreland said there have also been two positive cases at Monett Elementary School. One positive case had not been in school, so no quarantines were needed. Two students were quarantined as close contacts of the second positive case.

“It’s a lot easier to social distance at that age,” Moreland said.

There have not been any positive cases at Central Park Elementary, Monett Intermediate School or Monett Middle School.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we keep working through this and moving forward, following Health Department guidelines and trying to keep everyone safe,” Moreland said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: