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In-person instruction paused for one week for Murphysboro eighth graders
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In-person instruction paused for one week for Murphysboro eighth graders


Students head from buses into Murphysboro Middle School on the first day of school in 2018.

MURPHYSBORO — On Monday, Murphysboro Middle School Principal Jeff Keener sent a letter to parents of middle school students saying a second eighth grade teacher and one eighth grade student had tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, in-person instruction for eighth graders was paused this week. The district plans to resume in-person instruction for eighth graders on Sept. 22.

Jackson County Health Department believes the three cases are not related.

The letter states the entire eighth grade has not been quarantined during this time, but students and staff are recommended to continue practicing safety precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding meeting in groups.

Sixth- and seventh-grade students are continuing to meet for in-person instruction.

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The letter outlined safety precautions at the school.

“Our hallways are clearly labeled to ensure social-distancing is maintained, in classrooms, desks are placed six feet apart, and students remain in one classroom throughout the majority of the day. Sanitizer and cleaning supplies are readily available in each classroom and utilized frequently throughout the day. Classes are ‘bubbled’ by floor ensuring that grade levels do not interact during the course of the day. At lunch all students face in the same direction and are seated one student to a table. We will continue to be vigilant of these safe practices in an effort to prevent, promptly identify, and respond to potential COVID-19 cases,” the letter read.

In addition, the district will continue to monitor students and staff for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and reminded parents to keep children at home if they show any symptoms of the disease.

Keener was not available for comment.

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