The Searcy School District had to cancel its seventh-grade and junior varsity football games against Beebe scheduled for Monday night “because a student-athlete has tested positive for COVID-19,” it said on social media.
The district said in a Facebook post that its grounds/custodial department is “actively disinfecting the athletic facilities.” The district also reported that it was in the process of contacting any probable close contacts.
Searcy School/Community Coordinator Betsy Bailey said the district sent out a message to all Ahlf Junior High School parents informing them that the district has a positive case. Back in July, Searcy had three confirmed positives of COVID-19 among student-athletes.
The Arkansas Department of Health, which comes out with an educational COVID-19 report each Monday and Thursday that includes all schools with five or more positives cases plus a cumulative total since June, had Searcy on its list Thursday with five positives and nine cumulative. However, its report issued Monday did not include Searcy.
“One thing to remember,“ Bailey said when told about Thursday’s report, is “we can have positive cases in the school district’s name but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an on-site [test]. They may be students in our schools but weren’t on site when they were positive. When they were exposed they were off site but they may have to quarantine because they had tested positive out of school.”
No other White County school districts were on Monday’s list, either. It included 43 other school districts with 368 active cases and 1,245 cumulative.
In addition to the educational COVID-19 positive cases, the Arkansas Department of Health keeps track of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and congregate settings. The most recent list released Friday showed that Beebe Retirement Center had increased its number of positive cases by three to 47, with 43 active. An additional two staff there also have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing that total to 23, all active. The most recent positive test was Sept. 8.
The expired residents from the Beebe Retirement Center were listed at four, although White County Coroner’s Office Chief Deputy B.J. Rouse said he has recorded five deaths, including one resident who died at the hospital. Rouse said Monday there have been no additional deaths.
Searcy Healthcare is on the latest Health Department list with three positive staff members, with the most recent case being Sept. 9. Falling off the list is The Crossing at Riverside Health, which formerly had four positives cases.
White County remained at 14 COVID-19 deaths as of Monday. Statewide, 986 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19.