Coyle District School Superintendent Tests Positive for COVID-19
Mike Seals - August 20, 2020 10:54 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma public school superintendent has tested positive for the coronavirus. leading the district to temporarily close its only school for a deep cleaning, an official said Wednesday.
The Coyle school district learned Wednesday that Superintendent Terry Zink tested positive for the virus, according Dean of Students Shane Weathers.
“He just feels bad he can’t be here to protect his staff and teachers,” Weathers told The Associated Press.
The district, which started its school year on Aug. 10 with in-person instruction and distance learning available, canceled Thursday’s classes so that the K-12 school can get a deep cleaning. It will reopen Monday with virtual learning only and plans to resume in-person teaching on Aug. 31, Weathers said.
The district about 35 miles north of Oklahoma City has 310 students, including 20 to 30 who opted for virtual instruction only, Weathers said. It holds classes four days per week and will miss just one day because of the cleaning, he said.
The Oklahoma County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday voted over shouts of protests to send up to $36.1 million of the county’s $47 million in federal coronavirus funding to the trust that oversees the county jail.
Commission Chairman Kevin Calvey opened the scheduled 9 a.m. meeting at about 9:01 and immediately called for a vote on the plan without taking public comment. He did so despite shouts of “Are you kidding me?” and before Commissioner Carrie Blumert, who has opposed the amount being provided for jail operations, took her seat.
Commissioner Brian Maughan joined Calvey in voting for the measure that includes pay for salary and benefits to jail employees, air conditioning and plumbing repairs, and improving medical units at the jail, where at least two inmates have died of COVID-19.
“This is absolutely the number one thing we could do with this money to help slow the spread of COVID,” Calvey said after the meeting. “Nobody else is going to fund our jail for us. The state won’t do it, the city won’t do it.”
Blumert wanted more funding for programs such as nonprofit loans, medical expenses and education, and she said afterward that it was common courtesy to wait a few minutes for all commissioners to be seated before starting the meeting.
“He wanted to push the vote through as quickly as possible because everyone in that room knows where I stand, I’m not supportive of moving this amount of money over to the jail,” Blumert said.
Oklahoma’s application for $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits for people who lost jobs because of the pandemic was approved, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Oklahoma became the ninth state to be approved for the program announced earlier this month by President Donald Trump, according to a Tuesday night statement from FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor.
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Monday that he had applied for inclusion into the program for the unemployed who are receiving at least $100 in state unemployment benefits.
The commission will work to provide payments to jobless Oklahomans in about a month, OESC interim Commissioner Shelley Zumwalt said in a statement Wednesday.
“We’re operating in a compressed timeline with the understanding people across our state need help; and while many other states are estimating implementation to take up to 10 weeks, we are anticipating implementation within our system in four-to-five weeks,” Zumwalt said.
Unemployed Oklahomans have faced numerous challenges in receiving unemployment benefits, often lining up for blocks outside the commission.