After less than a month of instruction, about 20% of Oklahoma school districts have publicly reported a positive case of the coronavirus. The cases can be found in every corner and every type of school in the state.
There are no signs of its spread slowing as some districts have declined to take actions like mask mandates or pivoting to distance learning when there’s significant community spread in their home county.
We’ll continue tracking confirmed cases and outbreaks at schools in this post.
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Updated: Thursday, August 27:
Updated: Wednesday, August 26:
Hennessey Public Schools announced its first positive test results for a student or staffer. Earlier in August, Gov. Kevin Stitt had toured the school, touting its safety protocols. Tishomingo Public Schools announced a staff member at Tishomingo High School had tested positive for the coronavirus. The district has cancelled its football games for the next two weeks and players are quarantining. Pioneer-Pleasant Vale Public Schools announced Pioneer High School’s principal was exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus and one staff member tested positive. The school will transition to distance learning for two weeks. Chisholm High School was reportedly closed for three days because of a number of positive COVID-19 cases reported there. Deer Creek-Lamont announced it was cancelling two football games after a staff member had tested positive for the coronavirus. Idabel Public Schools announced a staffer had tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, the entire Pre-K class and staff at Idabel Primary South was required to quarantine for 14 days. Stigler Public Schools announced a staffer who split time between the middle and high school had tested positive for the coronavirus. People who had been close contacts were required to quarantine for 14 days. Upon learning that Whitefield Public School’s home county Haskell County was in a COVID-19 hot zone, its superintendent released a letter saying the district would continue in person instruction despite state guidance suggesting to go remote. The district had previously had cases reported on Aug. 12. Waukomis Public Schools was notified of a possible exposure of multiple students to the coronavirus. The district said the students were isolating after they’d been involved in off campus family activities. Alva Public Schools announced someone at Alva High School had tested positive for the coronavirus. Piedmont Public Schools announced a staff member who had been at a teacher meet and greet for the Piedmont Early Childhood Center had tested positive for the coronavirus. Hooker Public Schools announced a student had been in close contact with a person who had tested positive for the coronavirus. Wapanucka Public Schools reported a positive case. The announcement said school would continue as normal while the person quarantined. Keys Public Schools announced a high school student had tested positive for the coronavirus and had also attended school after being knowingly exposed and before they received a test result. The district has asked 21 people to quarantine because of potential exposure.
Updated: Tuesday, August 25
Union Public Schools in Tulsa confirmed that four employees had tested positive. The district has started school after its school board voted against the recommendation of its superintendent to begin the year virtually. Chickasha Public Schools announced a student at Grand Avenue Elementary School had tested positive for the coronavirus after a notification from the Grady County Health Department. Guymon Public Schools announced a person associated with the football and volleyball programs at Guymon High School had tested positive for the coronavirus. That person had been in close contact with both teams and they were both required to quarantine. Watonga Public Schools announced a student had tested positive for the coronavirus. Clinton Public Schools announced at least one student had tested positive for COVID-19 at each of its school sites. At least a dozen students have tested positive for the virus, though only four have been in classes. Pocola Public Schools announced it would shift to distance learning for two weeks because of positive cases and a growing number of absences at the school. Stillwater Public Schools announced the district was moving to distance learning and would determine if it would operate in person or at a distance on a week-by-week basis. We’re now able to confirm one person at Skyline Elementary School tested positive as of Aug. 21. Edmond Public Schools announced a smattering of cases across three schools. The cases caused football activities at Edmond North High School and Sequoyah Middle School to be delayed or cancelled. A teacher at Heritage Elementary School also tested positive. In total 47 students and staff were placed into quarantine because of potential exposures. It was reported Norwood Public Schools would transition to distance learning because of “multiple” cases of the coronavirus in the school. The district says it plans to be back to in-person school on Sept. 8. Altus Public Schools announced a second grade teacher at Rivers Elementary School had tested positive for the coronavirus. She was last in the classroom the previous Friday, Aug. 21, according to the district and she and students were all wearing masks. Cleveland Public Schools announced a positive case of a high school student at Cleveland High School. Holdenville Public Schools announced the district would close for a week because of a staff member testing positive for COVID-19. Turner Public School superintendent announced she and another staff member had tested positive for the coronavirus. The school pivoted to distance learning for two weeks. Duncan Public Schools announced a group of students had been quarantined because of a potential exposure to the coronavirus. Asher Public Schools reported a student had tested positive for the coronavirus. Elgin Public Schools confirmed a staff member had tested positive for the coronavirus. Superintendent Nate Meraz wrote the district “contacted the health department, conducted contact tracing, contacted affected persons, thoroughly cleaned the room, and followed all CDC guidelines.” Anadarko Public Schools announced a student at Sunset Elementary had tested positive for COVID-19. The student’s class and staff in the class would be quarantined for two weeks.
Updated: Monday, August 24
A person at Fort Gibson High School tested positive for the virus and 25 people he had been in contact with quarantined. Seminole Public Schools announced an employee had tested positive for the coronavirus. Soper Public School announced someone had tested positive for the virus. The district moved to distance learning for 14 days. Enid Public Schools had reported 452 students and staff in quarantine because of potential exposure to the coronavirus. Of those cases, 33 people had tested positive. Oilton Public Schools announced someone at Oilton High School had tested positive for the coronavirus and several people were quarantined. The high school switched to distance learning for 14 days. Mason Public Schools shifted to distance learning after a person tested positive for the coronavirus. Coleman Public Schools announced a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19. The school switched to distance learning for two weeks. Rock Creek Public Schools in Bokchito announced the district’s middle and high schools would pivot to distance learning after five people had tested positive for the coronavirus during the previous week. Henryetta Public Schools announced a student who participated in an extracurricular activity had tested positive for the coronavirus. The district started the year in distance learning. Porter Public Schools announced a staffer or student had tested positive for the coronavirus. The exposure was limited to a small group outdoors but the person with COVID-19 would quarantine for 14 days. McLoud Public Schools announced a positive test for the coronavirus at McLoud Intermediate School. The previous day, the district announced another case at the high school. Mooreland Public Schools learned a student had tested positive for the coronavirus. The district has since instituted a masking policy during passing periods and on school transportation.
Updated: Friday, August 21
Cordell Public Schools announced a kindergarten student had tested positive for COVID-19. All students who had been in contact with the student recently were quarantined as well. Tecumseh Public Schools announced a person working in the lunch room at Barnard Elementary had tested positive for COVID-19. All nutrition employees were quarantined. Little Axe Public Schools announced it was moving to distance learning to begin the school year on Aug. 24 and would begin in-person instruction on Sept. 8., because “an increased number” of staff were showing symptoms of COVID-19. Atoka Public Schools announced a high school student tested positive for COVID-19 and contact tracing and quarantine determinations are being made. All students and staff in grades 6-12 will be required to wear face coverings at all times while on campus, except while eating in the cafeteria, or participating in band and athletics. The Lincoln County Health Department is reporting a member of the Wellston High School softball team tested positive for COVID-19. The person is currently under quarantine and contact tracing is underway. Sand Springs High School reported a person affiliated with the freshman football team had tested positive for the coronavirus and would suspend practice for two weeks.
Updated: Thursday, August 20
Updated: Wednesday, August 19
A student or staff member at Blanchard Middle School tested positive and the school district conducted contact tracing and asked those who came in contact with them to quarantine, according to superintendent Brady Barnes. Bartlesville Public Schools reported two staff members had tested positive at Bartlesville High School and 13 people were asked to quarantine. Grove Public Schools announced a staff member at Grove High School has tested positive. Avant Public School announced it would delay school until Sept. 8 after staff and children tested postive following the distribution of district chromebooks. Coyle Public Schools announced its superintendent had tested positive for the coronavirus. Because he was involved in daily activities in each classroom, the school pivoted to distance learning for a week. Muskogee Public Schools reported two cases from the previous week. Staffers worked at Irving Elementary and one from the Education Service Center.
Updated: Tuesday, August 18
Updated: Monday, August 17
ORIGINAL POST – August 14
A coronavirus case has touched a school in every part of Oklahoma.
School is just starting across the state and already more than a dozen districts have reported cases of COVID-19. Some have pushed back start dates, shifted to distance learning or are simply trying to persevere.
Here is a list of schools where StateImpact has found announcements or news reports of active case discoveries:
Because school has just started it appears cases of the virus will likely be the norm. On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health issued a rare public health advisory calling for all students over the age of 11, teachers and staff to wear face coverings in schools.
However, the guideline is not a mandate. Schools’ COVID-19 precautions and regulations continue to be the responsibility of local officials.