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Northeast Oklahoma District Closes Due To COVID

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A small school district in northeastern Oklahoma said Tuesday it is closing due to positive COVID-19 tests among students and staff, just as major hospitals in the state warned they are overwhelmed due to a surge in infections driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

Chelsea Public School, a district of about 750 students about 40 miles northeast of Tulsa, announced its closure on social media.

“Due to a significant number of students and staff positive for COVID-19, Chelsea Public School will be out through Friday. Buildings are being deep cleaned,” according to the district’s Facebook page.

Phone calls to the district rang unanswered.

State Department of Education spokesperson Carrie Burkhart said she could not immediately confirm the district had shutdown, although districts must report any closure.

The delta-driven surge has resulted in a higher percentage of those infected being hospitalized, according to Dr. Dale Bratzler of OU Health

Dr. Stan Schwartz, an infectious disease specialist with the Healthier Oklahoma Coalition, said a mask mandate is clearly needed.

“Until the virus can’t find anybody to infect (through vaccinations), we don’t get rid of it,” Schwartz said. “We would really like to see masks be mandatory in as many situations as possible because partial measures are not going to be as effective as complete measures.”

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