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Arkansas school district announces over 900 students quarantined due to COVID cases

According to the Marion School District, over 900 students are quarantining after at least 54 students and 11 staff tested positive in its first weeks of school.

MARION, Arkansas — Over 900 students are quarantined in the Marion School District and there are almost 70 positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

The district, which is in its second week of school, announced the outbreak earlier this week on social media.

Currently, 937 students are quarantined and 12 staff are quarantined in the school district.

The total number of students who have tested positive since the first day of the school year is at least 54. Eleven staff members have tested positive so far.

"If all students and teachers had been wearing a mask appropriately- then today's 18 positive cases would be isolated- but there would be no resulting quarantines for anyone else," the school district said on Facebook Tuesday.

Superintendent Glen Fenter testified Wednesday before a legislative committee in hopes of amending the state's mask mandate ban to allow schools to set rules on mask wearing.

Fenter said the outbreak at his district could be a sign of what the rest of Arkansas schools could face soon.

“If those circumstances are replicated all across the state after two weeks of school, our state’s going to be in full blown crisis,” he said.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox made ruled Friday, Aug. 6, to temporarily block Act 1002. 

He said the law violates equal protection amendments between private and public school students.

Around 4,000 students attend school in the district. The district along with the Little Rock School District has filed a lawsuit to challenge the mask mandate ban.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.