How COVID-19 protocols are holding up at local schools

JOPLIN, Mo., NEOSHO, Mo., MIAMI, Okla. – As we get further into the new school year local schools are finding out if their COVID precautions are enough. We spoke with three different local schools to see how their Coronavirus safety precautions are holding up.

We checked in on some local schools to see how things are going now that they’ve been back in class for a while. Crowder College in Neosho has been back for the past six weeks and officials there say things are going smoothly. Vice President of Student Affairs Tiffany Slinkard says “Our residents are being asked to monitor symptoms on a daily basis, actually at least twice a day we’re asking them to monitor symptoms looking for those COVID related symptoms.”

Over at NEO A&M College in Miami, they’re pleased at how students have been working to keep each other safe. Co-chair of the COVID-19 Task Force Jennifer Walker says “We implemented a mandatory mask policy and I’ve been really surprised at how well our students have adapted to that and really participated in wearing their mask correctly in the buildings and when necessary.”

Holly Silvey is one of those students adapting to the changes. “Last year we just kinda walked around the dorm and not have to worry about anything and now we have to keep masks on the doorway and put one on to walk outside, so things are different, but obviously the atmosphere hasn’t change, the culture here hasn’t changed.”

Joplin Schools has had positive cases in both students and staff, but that positive rate is below 3%, out of more than 6,000 students back in class. Director of Educational Support Justin Crawford says “Our numbers continue to remain below state and local averages so what that translates to is being able to have more kids in school more often, so we do feel like our plan is working at the time with the protocols and procedures that we have in place.”

Abbi Surbrugg is in her senior year at the high school and says she likes some of the changes. “It’s definitely been different, trying to adjust to trying to keep everyone’s schedules straight has been kinda difficult, but I honestly like the A-B schedule the best, I think it’s working at keeping the Coronavirus under control definitely in the school district and I think we should continue doing it.”

All the schools we spoke with say they say it’s the teamwork of everyone keeping the spread of COVID low.