Poplarville School District employee will be kept home from work following visit to Africa

Published 7:00 am Friday, October 17, 2014

An employee of the Poplarville School District who is currently visiting Africa will not be allowed back to work until the Mississippi State Department of Health has confirmed he does not have the Ebola virus.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Superintendent Carl Merritt said the Poplarville School District Administration is aware of the employee’s trip abroad, and is taking the appropriate precautions to deal with the situation.
“Upon his return, he will be placed in contact with officials of the Mississippi State Department of Health for a determination of whether he poses a risk,” said Merritt. “In no event will this employee return to work until he has been cleared.”
“It is our understanding he did not visit any country where Ebola is a problem,” Merritt said in his statement.
Mississippi School Boards Association Attorney James A. Keith said the employee is returning from his trip this weekend and will immediately be put in contact with the State Department of Health upon his arrival.
Keith said the Poplarville School District plans to follow the health department’s lead and make a decision on the employee’s future when and if he has been cleared.
“We want to make sure that we are protecting the public and taking every precaution while also remaining fair to the employee,” Keith said.
“I can assure you,” Keith added, “that we will not put anyone’s child in harm’s way.”

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