UPDATE: Two South Mississippi schools close for two weeks due to COVID outbreaks

A second school has announced a two-week closure because of a COVID-19 outbreak at its campus.

South Hancock Elementary announced its 14-day closure on Tuesday via a telephone messaging system sent to parents, according to media reports.

Stone High School posted a notice on its Facebook page that its campus would close at 1 p.m. today for 14 days due to a COVID outbreak. Students will return to a normal campus schedule on Aug. 26. Until then, students will be on a virtual schedule, the post said.

Hancock County students returned to school on Aug. 3.  Hancock County School District Superintendent Teresa Merwin announced a mandatory mask mandate for students the day before. 

Mississippi schools kindergarten through 12th grade are required to make weekly reports of COVID-19 cases and related data to the state Department of Health. 

According to MSDH, “An outbreak in a school setting is defined as 3 or more individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 in the same group within a 14-day period.”

Six schools in the district reported between 1 and 5 people tested positive for COVID. The state does not give specific numbers under 5 to protect the identities of those who tested positive.

Stone County’s results were not part of the posted report.

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