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Webster County reports more kids testing positive for COVID-19; Fordland Schools makes masking decision

Springfield (MO) KYTV logo Springfield (MO) KYTV 8/17/2021 Shoshana Stahl
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WEBSTER COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - The Webster County Public Health Unit is reporting 143 active cases of COVID-19. In the last week. And five more have died from the virus in the County.

Webster County Public Health Unit administrator Scott Allen says the Delta variant is rampant in the community.

”Sewershed sampling of the Marshfield area, 100% of what’s being found in there for COVID-19 is that Delta variant,” Allen says.

Allen says COVID-19 cases are going down in the county overall. However, the county is seeing more severe cases of the virus, leading to more hospitalizations and more deaths.

“Some go to Buffalo for treatment,” Allen says. “Some go up to Lebanon for treatment. So we know we have 16 in Springfield area hospitals. What we don’t know is how many of our patients are in other areas and how many patients have been transported out of area hospitals. We may have some in other states.”

Last week, 11 kids ages 0-10 and 15 kids ages 11-19 tested positive for COVID-19. In total, that’s 26 children who tested positive for the virus in one week. Allen says he’s worried about children under 12-years-old who aren’t able to get the vaccine.

“We’re getting ready to start school,” Allen says. “The kids are going to start going back to daycare as well and we’re really concerned about what the future is going to hold for the next couple of months on seeing those cases.”

The Fordland School District is highly encouraging masks for the upcoming school year but not requiring them. Fordland Superintendent Dr. Chris Ford says masks are mandatory on school buses though.

“We are just taking precautions wherever we can because safety is our number one priority in the school district,” Dr. Ford says.

Dr. Ford says quarantine guidelines are the same as last school year. However, if you’re fully vaccinated you won’t need to quarantine if you are exposed. Dr. Ford is encouraging kids under the age of 12 to wear masks when in class.

“We cohort within the elementary school, assigned seating,” Dr. Ford says. “We cohort at lunch time, at recess. All of those protocols that were in place last year are still in place this year. Masking is highly encouraged at the elementary level.”

The Webster County Health Unit is offering free COVID-19 testing every morning this week. They go from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the office is on East Washington Street in Marshfield.

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