Tupelo Public School District reported 13 new positive COVID-19 cases among students during its ninth week back to school, in an update shared on Friday afternoon.
TPSD confirmed two cases among pre-kindergarten through second graders, four cases among sixth through eighth graders and seven cases at the high school.
During TPSD's October board meeting, which was held virtually on Tuesday, Superintendent Dr. Rob Picou said the district had confirmed the first case of on-campus transmission at Rankin Elementary School.
"It was the first time we knew someone actually transferred the virus on one of our campuses," Picou said during the meeting.
Prior to that case, the district has said that to the best of its knowledge all positive cases had been self-reported and a result of community spread rather than spread within schools.
Tupelo Schools’ total enrollment for the 2020-21 school year is 6,858 students. Of those, 5,125 are taking their classes in person and 1,733 are enrolled in the district’s online-based virtual learning program.
At the end of the eighth week of school, 96 students were determined to be in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case and 100 were quarantined.
Those numbers were higher by the end of week nine. One hundred students were in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, and 113 of the district's 5,125 students taking part in traditional school have been quarantined.
That means only about 2.2% of Tupelo’s traditional student population is currently in quarantine, up from about 2% the previous week.
During week nine, TPSD reported that five teachers and two support staff members tested positive for the virus. Ten teachers are currently quarantined along with eight staff members.