VWSD extends spring break through March 20

Published 3:05 pm Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Vicksburg Warren School District announced Saturday that it will extend spring break through March 20 to help combat the spread of coronavirus.

The announcement came after Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency and recommended schools remain closed through next week. Many school districts in the state had already made the decision to close next week — or longer — including those in Madison County, Rankin County, Clinton and Jackson.

“Following the recommendation of Governor Tate Reeves, the Vicksburg Warren School District is extending spring break through Friday, March 20, 2020,” a statement from the VWSD said. “The District’s lead administrative team is working diligently to expand the contingency plan for students and staff including full online school, food delivery to homes, and adjusted staff assignments in the event that closures continue after March 20th.”

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Public schools in Louisiana will remain closed until April 13. Some private schools that are members of the Mid-South Association of Independent Schools are not subject to that ruling, but many have announced they will remain closed next week. Tallulah Academy and Briarfield Academy both said they will extend spring break through March 20, with the hopes of reopening on March 23.

Reeves made the emergency declaration for Mississippi early Saturday afternoon. It will give health officials and administrators needed tools to help prevent the spread of the disease, the governor said.

The emergency declaration will allow state officials to access emergency funds and make changes to rules and regulations. Reeves said it would give healthcare facilities the ability to implement emergency pandemic plans to fight the virus.

To help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Reeves urged Mississippians to avoid large gatherings, including church services and sporting events. He said some state offices, including those that issue driver’s licenses, will close temporarily.

As of Saturday, six cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Mississippi and 67 in Louisiana. Three of the Mississippi cases were in Forrest County and the Hattiesburg area. One case was reported in each of Leflore, Copiah and Pearl River counties.

Worldwide, approximately 137,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported, with 1,701 of those in the United States.

“I urge all Mississippians to use caution. This is not a time to panic—we are acting calmly and steadily,” Reeves said in a video. “In this state, we were prepared. We have a pandemic plan that is being followed to the letter. We have tremendous experts who are operating in a way that will protect the public health and save lives. We are listening to those experts, and following their lead every step of the way.”