Snowfall earlier this week has thrown a wrench into the latest local COVID-19 school data reporting from the Mississippi State Department of Health. 

Multiple schools in the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District were absent from the reporting released Wednesday.

Dr. Mary Brown, the district’s superintendent, said the reports were sent to Department of Health by the school nurses on Tuesday. They were not sent by Monday’s normal deadline because the district was closed due to snow and school nurses were unable to enter the campuses to transmit the information.

The weather was also the reason Pillow Academy was absent from the list, said Barrett Donahoe, head of school.

According to Donahoe, four students tested positive last week. No staff members tested positive, he said.

Donahoe returned to work Tuesday after being quarantined because someone in his household had contracted the coronavirus. He said he never tested positive.

Leflore Legacy Academy, a charter school, was also absent from the data collected. Dr. Tamala Boyd-Shaw, the executive director of the school, said that although it was holding classes virtually, no one from the administration was in the office to forward that information Monday.

This week starts Leflore Legacy Academy’s first week of hybrid instruction, which combines in-person and distance learning. The entire first semester was held digitally.

One Leflore County school that was able to report was North New Summit School, where four students were placed under quarantine due to exposure to the virus.

In the Carroll County School District, J.Z. George High School and Marshall Elementary both saw slight increases in positive cases. Two staff members and one student tested positive at J.Z. George, and one staff member tested positive at Marshall.

The Carroll County School District students have attended in-person classes since the start of school but have also been in distance learning twice since August.

Delta Streets Academy and Carroll Academy again did not report their numbers, although it was not known whether the weather was a factor.

This is the ninth straight time both schools have not been listed.

The state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, issued an order in August mandating weekly reporting of COVID-19 data by all elementary and secondary schools, public and private. According to the Health Department, failure to comply is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

Last month, the Midsouth Association of Private Schools, to which Delta Streets and Carroll academies belong, released a statement saying that its member schools should not have to report their infection numbers to the Health Department, saying that the association “questions the legitimacy and efficacy of the state’s reporting requirements.”

Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or abakst@gwcommonwealth.com. On Twitter at @AdamBakst_GWCW.

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