SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Four grades at Boyd Elementary were sent back home Monday after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

The Springfield Public School District says the handful of teachers received their positive results on Monday morning before parents began dropping off their kids.

The new cases lead to all Kindergarten, First, Fourth, and Fifth Grade students being sent home for a virtual day of class instead of meeting in person.

“This morning we would have what we would call a perfect storm, where we had a cluster of cases that tested positives among our staff at Boyd Elementary and those results came back early this morning before school started, at the same time that we had a sub shortage,” says Stephen Hall, Communications Director for Springfield Public Schools.

One parent tells OzarkFirst parents were being told to bring their kids back home, and later received a message from the district explaining several teachers were had been quarantined.

SPS says it’s too early to know how the staff members contracted the virus.

Hall says all students will be back in the classroom Tuesday and Wednesday to finish out the rest of the semester.

SPS says it’s also monitoring a recent spike in new COVID-19 across the district.

“Last week we had the highest number of COVID positive cases that we have had in all of 2021,” Hall added.

In the past 7 days, the district has reported 71 cases of COVID-19 among students, and 28 among teachers and staff.

Hall says SPS will continue to watch transmission among the Springfield community as they prepare for the spring semester.

“We anticipate we see a spike in numbers when we see a spike in the community so we will continue to be watchful and not let our guard down.”

SPS is encouraging parents to watch for symptoms of COVID-19, and take advantage of free testing within the district if their child starts feeling sick.

More information on Springfield Public School’s COVID-19 testing can be found here.