Home Breaking News Superintendent out of hospital, recovering from COVID-19

Superintendent out of hospital, recovering from COVID-19


By John R. Schirmer

News-Leader staff

Nashville Superintendent Doug Graham came home Monday from a Hot Springs hospital where he was hospitalized more than a week with coronavirus.

At least nine school district employees and spouses were diagnosed with the virus.

The group included administrators, faculty and staff.

Officials closed district offices two weeks ago when the first cases were confirmed.

Tests were administered that week to administrators, office staff and summer employees.

Offices re-opened last week after results were received. 

Graham said Tuesday morning that he will be out another week to 10 days as the recovery process continues. 

“I’m glad to be back in the land of the living. I feel a lot better. Covid-19 threw us a curveball,” Graham said. 

“Priority number one will stay focused on keeping everybody safe. After living through it the last 10 days, anything short of 100 percent is off base. We’re working around the clock to be sure parents are comfortable about school. The parents have some big decisions to make. School may not look like it has for 40 years,” Graham said.

“Safety is number one. We’re trying to make the right decisions. We have to put our staff and students in the best position to keep them safe,” Graham said.

Assistant Superintendent Joe Kell remains hospitalized in Little Rock. “We want to get Mr. Kell back and get everybody back to some sense of health,” Graham said.

Kell is on a ventilator and has shown improvement. The ventilator is supplying about 35 percent of his oxygen. “It’s a slow process to get his health back. We’re all ready for him to turn the corner.”

Graham said planning for 2020-21 will continue during his recovery. “We have a good team in place,” he said.

Coronavirus cases have increased in Howard 

County and around the state in June.

As of mid-morning Tuesday, there have been 86 confirmed cases in the county, with 31 of those remaining active. Fifty-four patients have recovered. The county’s first death from coronavirus came last Friday. There have been 1,123 negative tests.

For a time in mid-May, there were no active cases in the county.

Pike County has had eight positive cases, with one remaining active. There have been no deaths and 1,639 negative tests.

Hempstead County has reported 50 cases, with seven still active. The county has had 42 recoveries and one death. There have been 1,578 negative tests.

The largest outbreak in southwest Arkansas remains in Sevier County with 693 positive cases, 162 of which are active. There have been 524 recoveries, 3,296 negative tests and seven deaths. 

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