More cases, deaths, closings due to COVID-19
While the official word of upping the color for the COVID-19 situation in the county had not been given at press time, the number of cases have risen and reports of the deaths of two males – one on Monday and another on Tuesday have been announced. “In addition to this citizen (this was the 10th death report) passing away, we have experienced a marked increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Ripley County. We ask that the community continue to redouble all efforts to protect yourself and family members with social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing and self-isolation when appropriate,” Dr. David Welsh, Ripley County Health Officer noted.
Ripley County stands at a yellow status as of October 28 and was told on Monday that the likelihood of the county going higher was very probable. If the red level is imposed there will be no buffets at food establishments, players and coaches will only be allowed at sporting events, and no events over 100 people will be permitted without the approval of the Ripley County Health Department. Also, Dr. Welsh noted that further restrictions will be applied as needed.
On Monday, November 2, Jac-Cen-Del Superintendent Ryan Middleton sent out the announcement that the school would be closing beginning November 3 through November 13. His announcement reads in part, “JCD administration has been faced with a very difficult decision. For the second straight weekend, the administration has been contact-tracing numerous students and faculty/staff for COVID-19. As of Sunday, Nov.1, our number of quarantined/isolated cases continue to increase. As of Nov. 2 we sent a number of students and yet, another teacher home. At this point, we can no longer fill the amount of subs that are needed throughout our days. If fact, some of the JCD administration has had to cover classes because our faculty absentee rate is too great.”
It was noted that e-learning will be in place during the shut down and teachers would be reaching out to students regarding their classwork.
All sports and extra-curricular activities are also closed during this time period as the staff continues to sanitize the buildings and grounds.
Decatur County Schools have reported being shut down at this time as well, along with some other surrounding schools. The Decatur County Board of Health has reported that the COVID-19 testing facility at the former Decatur County Jail is temporarily closed due to a positive COVID-19 test result. The remainder of their staff at that facility had to be quarantined. Milan and South Ripley schools were still in session as of press time this week.