Hopkins County continues to struggle with the latest post-holiday COVID surge. It’s affecting hospitals, schools, and everyday life.
The county has seen almost 300 new positive cases of the novel coronavirus in just the last three days.
Baptist Health is reporting a 40% increase in COVID-19 positive tests over recent weeks, but this increase in COVID-19 positivity rates isn’t just affecting the hospitals.
“As of November 17th, 2020, that was our highest with 20 positive COVID cases active with staff and students, and today, we have broke that record with 38," said Deanna Ashby, superintendent of Hopkins County Schools.
COVID-19 patients make up over a quarter of Baptist Health’s patient population.
Hopkins County nearly doubling their highest amount of coronavirus cases in schools, and this all happening even before students return to the classroom.
“We started back January 4th with virtual instruction, and that seems to be going well," said Ashby. "Our board of education, prior to Christmas holiday, passed that we would return to school on January the 19th on our hybrid schedule. We still plan to do that if at all possible.”
But as COVID-19 numbers continue to worsen in Hopkins County, at least one set of parents will be keeping their children in virtual learning to minimize their family's risk.
“My parents have immune-compromised systems, and it's not worth the exposure for them," said Anthony Thomasson. " To send them to school and run the risk of one of the kids bringing home something, that’s just not a risk I’m willing to take.”
And based on his day-to-day experiences, Thomason says he isn’t surprised to see COVID-19 numbers increasing dramatically in his hometown.
“I go out shopping," said Thomasson. " I go to Walmart and places like that, and I don’t see people wearing masks, and I don’t see them wearing them properly. I think that’s a contributing factor.”