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Hernando High School switches to virtual learning due to recent increase in COVID-19 cases

Hernando High School led the district with 29 new COVID cases.

HERNANDO, Miss — Despite only being in class for a week, one DeSoto County high school will now be going virtual. DeSoto County Schools announced Monday Hernando High School students will learn from home due to the number of recent COVID-19 cases.

“I was in person, and I was feeling good I was getting all my work done and then they came in and they were like virtual learning again and I was like 'oh no,'” said senior Emily Wideman.  

Wideman said she is nervous about DeSoto County Schools' decision to require virtual learning this month.

“I really started freaking out,” she said. “I’m an IEP student so I get special treatment, and I did virtual learning last year and it was really hard because I wasn’t in a classroom setting. I wasn’t able to focus properly.” 

DCS sent out an email to parents explaining due to the number of COVID cases in recent days Hernando high school will begin virtual learning Tuesday. 

Student Hailey Whitt, who is in band, said she wasn’t surprised by the decision.   

“My biggest fear was practice being canceled and I was worried about practice and kind of my grades because I knew it was coming,” said Whitt, and 11th grader. “I had a feeling.” 

DCS released quarantine and case numbers for the week ending Friday, August 13. Hernando High School led the district with 29 new COVID cases which is 2% of the student population. The high school also has 57 new student quarantines as a result of close contact at school. 

DCS parent Sara Leathers has a ninth grader and eleventh grader at Hernando High School. She received notice from the school Monday that a student in her child’s class has COVID. 

“They don’t give any information about which kid it is if you have multiple kids. I got a call this morning that my daughter had been in close contact with somebody that she needed to quarantine.”

Meanwhile students said they’re taking all the precautions they can. 

“I honestly think masks should be required,” said student Jaylon Todd. “Just today a lot of students got quarantined.” 

“You’re not required to get a vaccine but just saying it would probably help the COVID cases,” said Wideman.   

Virtual learning is scheduled for two weeks through August 27th. The school district said the return to the classroom depends on the number of COVID cases during the virtual learning period. All games for this week have been cancelled. A decision on next week's games will be made when a definite return date has been established.