At Least Six Green Country School Districts Announce Positive COVID-19 Cases

Thursday, August 20th 2020, 9:24 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

TULSA, Okla. -

At least a half dozen school districts in Green Country recently announced new COVID-19 cases.  

Due to those cases, some districts have shifted to temporary distance learning. 

Thursday night, the Grove Public Schools superintendent announced the district will go back to school on Monday, after initially saying on Wednesday that the district would be in distance learning through the end of the month. 

Just five days into the school year at Grove Public Schools and the district temporarily shifted to distance learning, after two students and two teachers tested positive for COVID-19. That prompted others to go under a mandatory quarantine.  

Superintendent Pat Dodson said staff worked hard to contact trace, using seating charts from classrooms and buses, along with security camera footage at every school.  

"I was at school this morning and my alarm went off to get out of bed, and I had already been in my office for a half hour. So that's kinda the life we're living right now,” Dodson said.  

The district initially planned followed a CDC recommendation to quarantine for 10 days, which Dodson said bought time to work on contact tracing.  

Dodson said the district is confident it has identified every student who came in contact with someone who tested positive and does not feel the need for the entire district to distance learn through August 31.  

Dodson is calling on everyone in Grove to mask up. The city does not have a mask mandate.  

"We need help. We need our parents to start wearing masks. We need people in our community to make sure they wear a mask. Our kids have done an excellent job,” he said.  

Despite positive cases the school board in McAlester voted Thursday to start school next Tuesday with the student population divided on an A/B schedule for one week, then bring everyone back together Monday, August 31st.  

"It's not a lot of students. Right now we have five that are positive,” Superintendent Randy Hughes said during the Zoom meeting.  

Other districts announcing positive COVID-19 cases include Henryetta, Porter, Salina and Glenpool. 

Glenpool Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Mona Smith said one student tested positive, resulting in 39 students and two teachers moving to quarantine status.

Find all the back to school plans for districts across northeastern Oklahoma in this story here.