School district closes after teen dies of COVID, 76 students test positive in first week
A Mississippi school district has shut down all learning after a teen died of COVID-19, and 11 teachers and 76 students tested positive for the virus in the first few days. (WLBT, FAMILY PHOTOS, CDC, CNN / CNN Newsource)

SMITH COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV/CBS Newspath/WKRC) - A Smith County teenager passed away from coronavirus complications on Saturday.

Makayla Robinson, 13, was an eighth grade student at Raleigh High School

“Last week this time, she was getting her daughter on the bus, and this week, she is planning a funeral,” said Dr. Floyd Strickland, a friend of the family, to WJTV. “She went to one hospital and was moved to another, and we got the news that within hours she had passed away.”

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This comes just weeks after the school’s band director lost his battle with COVID-19, according to the station.

Students returned to class on Aug. 6, and masks were not a requirement. However within the first few days of school, 76 students and 11 teachers tested positive for the virus across the district, forcing district leaders to revisit their policies. 

About 20,000 Mississippi students are currently quarantined for COVID-19 exposure -- that's about 4.5 percent of all public school students.

The Smith County School District is now shutting down all learning, both in-person and virtual, for two weeks, due to high case numbers, according to Mississippi Today.

Mississippi Today reports that the district will not be implementing virtual learning due to connectivity issues in rural areas.

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