Tuscaloosa County Schools have most COVID-19 cases in the state

Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The State Health Department says the Tuscaloosa County school system has 82 cases of COVID-19.  That’s the highest number in the state of Alabama.

Courtney Tapia is worried about her two daughters: her 8-year-old is in third grade and her 15-year-old is in 9th grade at Tuscaloosa County High school.  Tapia says her oldest daughter had to be in quarantine for 14 days; she tested negative for COVID-19.

“So it’s concerning especially at the high school,” Tapia said. “My daughter has told me they have hundreds who are quarantined. And it’s very concerning – it’s scary.”

Dr. Keri Johnson is the School system superintendent; she says the highest number of cases are at Hillcrest and Tuscaloosa County High Schools. From October 23 through November 6, a total of 1,209 students or employees had to quarantine due to possible COVID-19 exposure.

“They are not getting sick from each other at school, and we are getting reports from people we send home with close contacts that are not coming down with COVID,” Johnson said. “We are following the guidelines and sending them home for 14 days. The majority of the cases we’ve seen in recent weeks are attributed to outside activities. Our uptick in cases has been linked to homecoming parties and Halloween parties.”

Tapia is hoping the large number of coronavirus cases will decrease.

“Parents need to keep their kids at home if they’re sick and try to limit their activities,” Tapia said. “And the administration and the schools need to make sure they have someone sanitizing and doing the best they can do.”

Despite the large number of COVID-19 cases, the school system will not switch to remote virtual learning, but students will continue to attend in-person classroom learning face to face with teachers.


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