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TPS Board Wants To Revisit COVID Response Plan As Delta Variant Rises

Matt Trotter

Members of the Tulsa Public Schools Board want to discuss plans to deal with the more-transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus.

The fall semester begins in six weeks, and cases of COVID-19 have been rising in Tulsa County the past three after falling to a 12-month low. The Delta variant is present in northeast Oklahoma.

"I have received numerous calls, and I look forward to our having a discussion surrounding the new Delta variant. We have families that are trying to figure out what they're going to do for school," said board member Jennettie Marshall.

Fellow board member Judith Barba Pérez is having the same experience.

"I've been having that conversation with members of the community, too, and yeah. I think we need to have a ... deeper conversation about it," Barba Pérez said.

Board President Stacey Woolley said vaccination rates are currently too low.

"It's of critical importance for our schools to remain open and for our kids to actually be physically present consistently for everyone who is eligible and able to be vaccinated to do so," Woolley said.

Woolley said her daughter will get her first shot this month on her 12th birthday. Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist joined Woolley in urging people to get vaccinated.

"All of us can contribute to making sure that we don't see more dangerous versions of this," Gist said.

Gist said she remains in contact with the Tulsa Health Department about COVID-19 response.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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