Area districts report move to red status, while OSDH reports level unchanged from orange, due to differing report measurements
Mustang officials – no changes to district protocols at this time
By Traci Chapman
Mustang was one of at least two area school districts that late Friday announced a change in Canadian County’s COVID-19 reporting level, with the county reportedly moving for the first time to the “red,” or top, exposure level – while an Oklahoma State Department of Health spokesman late said according to its data no Oklahoma counties changed from “orange” to “red” as of that time.
The level difference, officials said, stemmed from a difference in reporting systems used by the various entities. OSDH includes hospital capacities to determine exposure levels, while the system used by Mustang Public School District and others – Oklahoma State Department of Health and Education’s COVID-19 Alert System – measures risk of exposure due to an increase in cases per 100,000 individuals.
“…hospital capacity did not meet the threshold to trigger any red counties, including in Canadian County,” OSDH media relations supervisor Anthony Triana advised via a late Friday email.
While the Health and Education system showed a significant increase in county cases – from 34.39 to 57.89 cases – Friday, MPS officials advised the reason for that spike was a contained outbreak at Federal Corrections Institute El Reno. More than 200 inmates housed at that prison tested positive,
Federal corrections representatives late Friday confirmed the El Reno spike in COVID-19 cases.
District officials stated Friday there would be no major changes to district health and safety protocols at this time since the outbreak appeared to be isolated to the federal prison. That means currently scheduled events would go forward, Mustang High School would continue with the A-B system and the districtwide mask mandate for all students, staff, teachers, administrators and visitors to Mustang Public School facilities would remain in place.
After being closed last week, Riverwood Elementary School as of late Friday was expected to return to in-person classes as usual Monday, district officials also confirmed.
“This is why it is vitally important to look at our local data when making local decisions – the red level coupled with our local data, which has shown a reversal of the downward trend in cases/quarantines/isolations, will still force us to closely examine our next steps moving forward to respond to the pandemic,” Superintendent Charles Bradley stated in a release sent to families late Friday. “We want to avoid any rush to action which could cause a whiplash between Red precautions and Orange 2 precautions, should things change next week, but we are alarmed by today’s numbers.”
Mustang Times will continue to monitor this situation and provides updates as needed on our website, via social media and in next week’s paper.