Alabama Department of Public Health holds last-minute coronavirus training for schools

The training explained in greater detail how to respond to a Coronavirus outbreak and others suggestions on how to reduce the spread in schools.

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 7:21 PM
Updated: Aug 4, 2020 11:21 PM

With only three days until the first day of school for some districts, the Alabama Department of Public Health held a last-minute training session on Tuesday.

The training explained in greater detail how to respond to a coronavirus outbreak and other suggestions on how to reduce the spread in schools.

School leaders say the training went over a lot of information they already knew and planned for, but a few last-minute adjustments are needed, including creating assigned seating charts and isolation areas for students who show symptoms of coronavirus.

"I wouldn't say everyone is 100% ready right now, but we are in the process," said Morgan County Schools head nurse Brenda Caudle.

She says there was one main focus in the state-wide training on Tuesday.

"Zeroing in on when someone tests positive and when someone gets sick and that kind of thing," said Caudle.

Caudle as well as Limestone and Jackson County schools superintendents say they started planning months ago.

"I think we will be as ready as we can be, I absolutely do," said Jackson County Superintendent Kevin Dukes.

The Alabama Department of Public Health stated in the training, if a student or staff member shows signs of coronavirus, they will be isolated in a designated room and then sent home to get tested.

If they test positive, a school nurse will help identify who came in contact with that person and then they will be isolated and sent home to quarantine for 14 days.

The training document specifically leaves out instruction on when to close a classroom or school. The more than 80-page document called that a local decision.

The superintendents told WAAY 31's Casey Albritton Tuesday's meeting showed there's still more to be done.

"We're currently looking at adding additional health care individuals," said Limestone County Superintendent Randy Shearouse.

"We are looking at hiring a roving nurse," said Dukes.

Shearouse, says teachers still need to create seating charts before Friday.

"They can certainly determine how much distancing they can have and we will know how many students they are going to have in their classes," said Shearouse.

Morgan County Schools is still working on some isolation rooms, but says that will be done in the next few days.

"Are we going to be able to say 100% that there will never be a case of COVID, that's not possible, but can we say that we've done everything we can to decrease the spread?" said Caudle.

Caudle tells WAAY 31 News nurses in Morgan County will review the topics from the training on Wednesday.

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