District COVID-19 Updates [March ’22]


March 14 COVID data provided by NetHealth, the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

Kylie Hester and Maddi Farmer

Smith County COVID-19 cases have seen a decrease with 25 new cases as of March 14.  With the new Omicron variant, the school faced a rise in cases, but they have now fallen and are currently standing at an all time low. 

“I think that just so many people got it and just thought they had a little cold,” Superintendent Stan Surratt said. “I think a lot of people got this variant and there’s herd immunity and so the cases now are mostly zero. We’re just happy to be at this point.”

  The district as a whole has taken multiple steps towards preventing the spread of cases for two years. Buses are fogged, teachers are supplied with cleaning supplies in their classrooms, and social distancing is encouraged. CDC procedures are also followed, where if a student runs a fever they must go home, and if tested positive for COVID they must quarantine for five days before returning to school.

“I think we’ve handled it very well,” Surratt said. “It’s tough, you know, because we have 700 employees. So I think overall we’ve done a great deal. The biggest thing that we did, compared to a lot of schools in Texas,  was that we went to school as early as we could and stayed in school.”

For students who are required to quarantine or have long-term illness, procedures are in place to allow them  to attend virtual classes. 

“Of course now the cases are extremely low, so we don’t really have hardly anybody,” Surratt said. 

As for mask mandates, the school does not currently have a mandate. Students are allowed to wear masks if they feel the need to. 

“Mask mandates are a question of our beliefs,” junior Savannah Warrington said. “We should have the right to choose if we want to live life to the fullest without the precautions and accept the consequences or if we choose to live afraid and being protective of ourselves.”