UPDATE 3/14/20:

Itawamba County schools will remain closed through March 20 amid growing concerns over the spread of the virus COVID-19. 

Superintendent of Education Trae Wiygul announced the decisions to extend the school district's spring break holiday through next week via Twitter, Saturday morning: 

"Due to coronavirus concerns, the Itawamba County School System will be closed the week March 16-20," he tweeted. "All school events are postponed until further notice. Please take care of yourself and family during this time."

On Friday, the superintendent told The Times classes were still expected to resume Monday, although school district leaders were monitoring the spread of the virus. 

As of Saturday morning, six confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been discovered in Mississippi. 

ORIGINAL STORY

Itawamba County schools will resume classes, Monday, despite growing concerns across the area about the spread of the virus COVID-19.

Itawamba County Superintendent of Education Trae Wiygul confirmed Friday that students would return to class on March 16 following the week long spring break school holiday.

“As of now, we are still going back to school Monday,” he told The Times via text message. “The state department of health has said that schools should remain open, and the Mississippi Department of Education hasn’t made the call to close. Unless something changes in the next few days, we will go back Monday.”

Wiygul said crews will be at school, Sunday, cleaning in preparation of students’ and teachers’ return.

The superintendent said he plans to send out an official statement on Saturday.

Students at least one local school won’t return to class, Monday: Itawamba Community College announced on Thursday evening that it’s extending spring break through March 23 to allow “time to monitor the situation and prepare a plan for traditional courses to continue in online delivery format, if needed.”

ICC has also asked that all residential students refrain from returning to campus until further notice, assuring students they’ll receive an update from the housing office early next week.

It was also announced on Thursday that ICC is “taking initial steps in suspending college-sponsored travel to U.S. cities that have declared a state of emergency in response to the virus.”

MDE said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon that all school districts statewide should be actively engaging in contingency planning now in case the need for closures arises, but stressed that the Mississippi Department of Health is not currently recommending that schools close.

Daily Journal’s Blake Alsup contributed to this article.

adam.armour@journalinc.com

Twitter: @admarmr​

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