December 18, 2020
Alabama’s K-12 schools again saw a rise in new COVID-19 cases in staff and students this week, climbing by nearly 100 new cases to 3,352, up from 3,255 reported last week.
That increase comes as the state continues to break records in the number of new coronavirus cases, logging more than 5,300 new cases on Friday morning.
Most new cases are in large districts in north and central Alabama, but the large districts in other parts of the state also saw large increases.
The Alabama Department of Public Health dashboard for K-12 schools shows the higher number of new cases in darker shades on the map.
Five or more new cases of coronavirus were reported in 115 of Alabama’s 138 school districts. Eighteen school districts and four charter schools reported fewer than five new cases. Five school districts and one charter school reported zero new cases.
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.
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.
Four districts, all large county districts, had more than 100 new cases among students and staff. Those four are:
- Jefferson County (39,000 students and staff) – 190 new cases, up from 188 last week
- Tuscaloosa County (20,400 students and staff) – 152 new cases, up from 123 last week,
- Mobile County (58,000 students and staff) – 125 new cases, up from 72 last week,
- Baldwin County (33,600 students and staff) – 124 cases, up from 82 last week.
Some school districts have moved to remote learning over the past few weeks due to rising COVID-19 cases and not having enough staff to keep schools open.
Most Alabama K-12 schools will close for winter holidays at the end of the day Friday. Many districts are easing back into school in January, starting back remotely to mitigate the potential spread of the virus that officials are worried about as families gather for the holidays.
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/2/
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