Muhlenberg Co. Schools managing COVID-19 outbreak among students, staff

Superintendent: 63 students tested COVID-positive, 468 students quarantined
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT
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MUHLENBERG CO., Ky. (WFIE) - Muhlenberg County Public Schools is without 468 students who are all in quarantine this week due to COVID-19 close contact.

According to school officials, 63 of these students have tested positive for COVID-19.

Superintendent Robert Davis announced these numbers on Wednesday.

Davis also says 11 staff members have tested positive.

Muhlenberg County High School principal Donna Bumps says it’s been a stressful week handling this on top of a new school year, but she says there are still some reasons to stay positive.

“Definitely have not ever had to experience anything like this, and I can definitely say that none of my classes in college prepared me for a pandemic either,” Bumps said.

Bumps has been guiding her staff and students through the pandemic, the start of the school year and now this outbreak of cases.

“I think at first it was a little bit apprehensive, but as we’ve gotten into the groove of things, this is day 10 for us, they have just learned that it’s just part of it,” she said.

Spokesperson Carla Embry acknowledges numbers are high, but says they’re not to the point to need to shut schools down.

She says they still have enough staff to keep classes and sports going in person.

“We are really hoping that we can continue to manage that to the point that we can continue with schools in-person, five days a week,” Embry said. “That is our goal, we’ve learned that kids just learn better, we function better when we’re in person and learning.”

Embry says they’ll be monitoring cases, taking virtual days if they absolutely need to, and just accepting the school year can’t be normal quite yet.

“We had that little glimpse of hope at the start of summer. We were without masks, our numbers were really low, and we thought ‘oh yes, we’re going to get back to a normal year,’ then things change, we’re back into our masks,” Embry said.

“The most important thing, if your child tells you they are not feeling well, while they are teenagers in my case at the high school they may be trying to pull one over on you, just air on the side of caution,” said Bumps. “It’s better to be safe than sorry, keep them home that day monitor their symptoms. If they’re feeling great that day send them on back.”

Officials say a large number of students in quarantine get to come back in the coming weeks because they went into quarantine before the school year started.

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