New COVID cases rise to 3,200 this week in Alabama’s K-12 schools
Updated 1:10 PM; Today 1:10 PM
Cases of COVID-19 in Alabama’s K-12 schools rose again this week, with 3,255 students and staff reporting they have contracted COVID-19 in the past week. That’s a jump of 750 cases over last week’s 2,500, a rise of 30%.
Most of the new cases are in large districts in north and central Alabama, highlighted on the map posted on the Alabama Department of Public Health’s dashboard, updated Friday morning.
With COVID-19 cases surging across Alabama, some school districts are moving to remote learning before and after the upcoming winter holidays.
Of Alabama’s 138 school districts, 71 districts reported more cases this week than last week and of those, 30 districts had double-digit increases in the number of COVID-19 cases reported to them.
Some schools are going virtual only next week. Others will not be returning for in-person classroom learning until January 11. As COVID-19 continues to be a problem in Alabama, schools are weighing how to approach the upcoming Christmas holiday.
Thirty-five school districts reported fewer cases this week than last week.
Twenty-seven school districts and three public charter schools reported fewer than five new cases. Five school districts and two public charter schools reported zero cases this week.
All school districts reported the required data to the dashboard.
The data does not differentiate between positive cases among students, teachers, and staff nor does it indicate where the case of coronavirus was contracted.
Five districts had more than 100 new cases among students and staff. Those five are:
- Jefferson County (40,000 students and staff) – 188 cases,
- St. Clair County (10,200 students and staff) – 160 cases,
- Tuscaloosa County (20,700 students and staff) – 123 cases,
- Shelby County (23,700 students and staff) – 120 cases,
- Huntsville City (25,400 students and staff) – 112 cases.
Looking at COVID-19 cases as a percentage of total students and staff, ten school districts, most of which are in central and north Alabama, have more than 1% of their population reporting as having the coronavirus this week.
The ten school districts are:
- Scottsboro City (2,700 students and staff) – 63 cases, or 2.3% of the total population,
- Lamar County (2,500 students and staff) – 39 cases or 1.6% of the total population,
- St. Clair County (10,200 students and staff) – 160 cases, or 1.6% of the total population,
- Arab City (2,800 students and staff) – 40 cases, or 1.4% of the total population,
- Guntersville City (2,000 students and staff) – 27 cases, or 1.4% of the total population,
- Ozark City (2,200 students and staff) – 30 cases, of 1.4% of the total population,
- Cullman City (3,500 students and staff) – 42 cases, or 1.2% of the total population,
- Sylacauga City (2,300 students and staff) – 24 cases, or 1.1% of the total population,
- Tallassee City (1,800 students and staff) – 18 cases or 1% of the total population, and
- Walker County (7,900 students and staff) – 80 cases or 1% of the total population.
No numbers are reported on the number of students and staff in quarantine due to being a “close contact” of someone with COVID-19, though some school districts do publish their own dashboards including that information.
School officials ask students and staff to voluntarily report coronavirus cases to schools to not only keep track, but also to ensure close contacts of those testing positive are quarantining for the appropriate amount of time as currently required by the state health officer.
For a look at the progression of cases over the past six weeks reported by school officials, check out the table below.https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/cOGVH/1/
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