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Lewisburg Middle makes safety changes after rise in COVID-19 cases forced virtual learning

Students return to Lewisburg Middle School Thursday after two weeks of virtual learning

LEWISBURG, Miss — After a spike in COVID-19 cases and students in quarantine, Lewisburg Middle School went virtual for two weeks. Thursday morning, students will be back in the classroom and the school day will feel much different with changes now being made.

At the time of the decision to go virtual, more than 10% of the student body at Lewisburg Middle was in quarantine after 30 positive cases were reported.

"I really feel like we kind of needed to reset, the building needed a break you know with the numbers like in the way it was," Principal Brad Meadows said. "I felt like going virtual for a short period of time was the right decision and I feel like now coming back to school we have a few more strategies that I think will definitely help.”

Ahead of Thursday's return, parents received a two-page document listing an increase in safety procedures.

Largely, the changes that have been made try to reduce the chances of students being able to congregate during the day.

Meadows said the school will increase to five lunch periods to space each student and keep the lunchroom capacity to 50%.

Periods between classes will also be staggered so that students don't crowd the hallways. Hallway traffic will now go in one direction.

Dismissal times will be staggered as well.

Meadows said with the changes parents should feel safe sending their kids back to school in person.

“We’re doing everything we can here at Lewisburg Middle School to keep our students as safe as possible," he said. "Myself, I’ve got a third-grader and a seventh grader and I have no problems with sending them to school.”

For the DeSoto County School district, masks are encouraged, but not required.

Meadows said the district could enact a mask mandate at a school if 5% of the student body were to test positive with COVID. He said Lewisburg Middle has not hit that number.

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