By Traci Chapman
The Mustang Times
Mustang Public School District just announced its first confirmed death of a staff member due to the novel coronavirus.
The unnamed employee worked for the district for several years, communications director Kirk Wilson said Tuesday. He confirmed this is the first instance of someone connected with Mustang Public Schools dying as a result of complications from COVID-19.
“The family has requested privacy during this difficult time, and out of respect for that request we will not be releasing further information,” Superintendent Charles Bradley stated in the email. “We thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers.”
A separate communication sent to district personnel offered support through the district’s employee assistance program, available through MPS health insurance coverage.
“Each of us will react to death in our own way, and we need to be respectful of each other,” Bradley told his staff. “Feeling sad is a normal response to any loss.”
Wilson, whose normal position has been upended by the pandemic with additional duties related to data analysis, contact tracing and other COVID-19 related work, two weeks ago began issuing a regular report concerning the coronavirus and its impact on district students, teachers, staff and administrators.
In its second week of data released Sept. 4, figures showed 31 active cases districtwide with 265 individuals listed as “known close contacts/symptomatic.” District reports indicated 22 active cases a week before with 92 current quarantines and isolations at that time.
Friday’s report indicated 194 active quarantines for district students, teachers, staff and/or administrators. Those individuals may be quarantined “for any reason related to COVID-19,” officials said.
The bulk of confirmed positive cases remained at Mustang High School, which listed 12 positive diagnoses; six cases stemmed from Mustang Education Resource Center or other administrative sites, data showed.
“We are extremely fortunate to have Kirk (Wilson) and his dedication to our district – Kirk and our other employees like him make a difficult situation much easier,” the superintendent said last week.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported Wednesday there have been 13 deaths in Canadian County from COVID-19 and two of those have been from Mustang.
Mustang Times will update this story as more information becomes available.