SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In Siloam Springs, two schools will be closed for two weeks due to COVID-19: Northside elementary, and the Intermediate School.
Jody Wiggins is the superintendent.
“More than a fourth of our student body in that building would’ve been out and approximately a fifth of our staff would’ve also been out,” Wiggins said.
He says he recently noticed a spike in cases being reported despite the school implementing a mask requirement and regularly cleaning its facilities.
“We have little more control over our students and our staff in our buildings and so they are doing a very good job of trying to maintain social distancing and wearing a mask,” Wiggins said. “I would encourage our community do the same.”
As of Thursday, Nov. 12, 19 students and 15 staff members are currently sick with the virus, while 326 students and 31 staff are in quarantine.
Cases aren’t just being reported inside of schools, but outside in the community as well. City officials say it’s going to take everyone doing their part to bring down these case numbers.
“We’ve changed everything since this thing started, just trying to be careful,” Chris Moore said.
Moore is the owner of Pour Jons.
His coffee shop was one of the businesses that received a memo from the city, stressing business owners enforce health guidelines after the city reported a 50% increase in total COVID-19 cases since September.
“We’ve got to do a better job of wearing masks,” Moore said. “I see a lot of people without them at the stores.”
The memo also states people have complained about businesses not following regulations and no longer feel safe shopping within the city.
“I know people that’ve gotten very sick and have been home for weeks, one of the employee’s mom in California was in a hospital on a ventilator,” Moore said. “It’s serious.”
“The more we can do as a community as a school district to stop the spread the better off we are,” Wiggins said. “We want to have on-site instruction, that’s the best opportunity, the best choice for our kids to learn.”