Stan Stratton


Riverview High School’s football team is expected to be back in action Friday against Salem after its game against Blytheville last Friday was canceled due to several of its football players being in quarantine, according to Riverview Superintendent Stan Stratton.

Riverview School District’s Facebook page on Sept. 11 had a post that it was notified that a student tested positive for COVID-19. However, the district did not announce the quarantine or game cancellation on the social media page.

Stratton said the district decided Sept. 11 to cancel the Sept. 18 football game after it verified who would have to be quarantined. “The quarantine would be past the game on the 18th,” he said.

Although Stratton didn’t give an exact number of football players in quarantine, he said 30 total students were being quarantined.

The football game is the third one in White County to be canceled because of COVID-19 in the first four weeks of the season. Harding Academy canceled its opener against Bald Knob on Aug. 28 and Bald Knob and Riverview canceled their matchup set for Sept. 11. The Searcy School District also canceled seventh-grade and junior varsity games scheduled for last Monday against Beebe.

None of the the schools that have canceled games were on Monday’s COVID-19 school report list issued by the Arkansas Department of Health, but Beebe is listed with five active cases and 18 cumulative.

Beebe Superintendent Chris Nail gave a video update Friday on COVID-19 and said the district has had nine students test positive and 112 quarantined. On the staff side, Nail said the district has had three test positive and 16 quarantined. Nail noted that about 21 percent of the student population is doing virtual learning.

Harding University is the only other White County school on the state report, and it has the most active cases with 19, along with 28 cumulative. It also has the eighth-most active cases among colleges/universities in the state.

The total number of active cases at the state’s colleges and universities is 701 (3,332 cumulative), while active cases at public schools total 748 (3,637 cumulative). Private schools in the state report 37 active cases and 194 cumulative.

While Rose Bud was not on the list, Superintendent Allen Blackwell said the school district has 24 in quarantine.

Blackwell said he went to the superintendent’s co-op meeting Wednesday and said some other superintendents were talking about starting to see some increases in COVID-19 cases. “I kind of jinxed us; I said, ‘We’ve been fortunate and a little bit lucky’ and Friday, we had one staff member that tested positive but because of what she does, it affected two separate classrooms and so we had to send 19 students and four staff members home for quarantine.”

“We have one positive test. Because she worked in two separate classrooms, it pretty much took out the two teachers as well as the two aides and 19 students,” he said.

Blackwell said the students should be able to do virtual learning. He also said the school is following Arkansas Activities Association’s guidelines and have not had a home football game yet but will be having one Friday.

“When we have gone to other schools they have just kind of basically marked off every other row,” Blackwell said. “We don’t have enough fans who travel so as far as restrictions, it hasn’t really hit us. What we are going to do here for Friday, we are going to allow people to bring lawn chairs and we are going to kind of mark out where people can sit along the track and space out that way. I doubt that we are going to have any ticket sales, we are just not that competitive where we have a huge crowd.”

In Bradford, the district posted on its Facebook page Sept. 16 that it had a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. The district reported that all “probable close contacts” have been notified and it is continuing to work with the Department of Health to ensure the safety of staff and students.

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