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Alabama Department of Public Health updates coronavirus toolkit for schools

As of Tuesday, students, staff and faculty will only have to quarantine if they were in close contact of an individual who tested positive for the coronavirus or an individual who recently lost their taste or smell.

Posted: Oct 13, 2020 5:42 PM
Updated: Oct 13, 2020 5:59 PM

On Tuesday, the Alabama Department of Public Health published its updated coronavirus toolkit for schools.

The new guidelines only require quarantines for healthy students and faculty if they're exposed to someone who recently lost their sense of taste or smell. Previously, they would be sent home for close contact with anyone with a new cough, difficulty breathing or loss of taste.

The new protocol went into effect on Tuesday, but the Madison County School District started it on Monday. 

The district's lead nurse, Donna Stiles, told WAAY 31 the updated toolkit makes it easier for schools to keep classes in-person because it's easier for nurses to determine whether students were exposed to coronavirus, or something else like allergies or a common cold.

“We want to keep kids at school so that is going to impact us in a positive way because we have very clear, specific guidelines and they’re limited to those two situations," said Stiles.

As of Tuesday, students, staff and faculty will only have to quarantine if they were in close contact of an individual who tested positive for the coronavirus or an individual who recently lost their taste or smell.

“Dr. Landers has been very specific that that is a symptom of COVID-19 and not flu, not other illnesses," said Stiles. "So, we can pretty much confirm that’s going to be COVID if they have a loss of taste or smell.”

Individuals experiencing the major symptoms of a new cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell will still be placed in quarantine, but their close contacts can continue going to class. 

Stiles said she's glad the state made these changes and thinks it will help give students a sense of normalcy.

“We want our kids to stay in school because that’s why we’re here and we want to support the faculty and staff to meet the educational needs of the students," she said. "So, yes, if we can keep them in school and keep them learning, then goal met.”

You can find the state's updated toolkit here. 

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 242874

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31944500
Mobile19687361
Madison13065148
Tuscaloosa12983154
Montgomery12286236
Shelby1020377
Baldwin860398
Lee773566
Morgan653850
Calhoun6240119
Marshall621355
Etowah621066
Houston523038
DeKalb481336
Cullman435442
Limestone420645
St. Clair415855
Elmore404564
Lauderdale400454
Walker3634111
Talladega349054
Jackson313423
Colbert309342
Blount288840
Autauga271642
Franklin251033
Coffee242615
Dale231854
Dallas225932
Chilton221938
Russell22143
Covington218534
Escambia197931
Chambers176550
Tallapoosa175791
Pike158314
Clarke158019
Marion137936
Winston132323
Lawrence127336
Pickens122318
Geneva12138
Marengo121024
Bibb117317
Barbour117110
Butler115341
Randolph102021
Cherokee101524
Hale96131
Clay91124
Washington90919
Fayette89816
Henry8526
Lowndes79529
Monroe78711
Cleburne77114
Macon73122
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69419
Conecuh68414
Perry6846
Lamar6718
Wilcox63218
Sumter57722
Greene42418
Choctaw42113
Coosa3414
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 356716

Reported Deaths: 4526
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby47088658
Davidson42057419
Knox18467149
Rutherford17439160
Hamilton16555152
Williamson1116779
Sumner9573136
Wilson731678
Out of TN721051
Montgomery649683
Sullivan630096
Washington5844106
Maury578367
Putnam578282
Blount540660
Madison5275110
Bradley508435
Sevier476831
Unassigned449222
Robertson371052
Tipton357738
Hamblen340860
Dyer316051
Gibson315064
Greene300672
Dickson284833
Anderson283328
Coffee277641
Bedford270130
Carter266055
Lawrence263934
Obion260449
Cumberland248536
McMinn244555
Roane230929
Warren229419
Loudon224519
Hardeman223237
Jefferson222732
Fayette219138
Weakley212636
Monroe207444
Franklin204434
Lauderdale202523
Trousdale190212
Hawkins189834
Wayne189110
Henderson181533
Macon179228
Hardin174825
Marshall171520
White170918
Carroll169234
Rhea162931
Haywood160830
Cocke159530
Lincoln157914
Cheatham155317
Overton152935
Campbell152723
Henry149317
Giles143949
Johnson141321
Smith140919
McNairy138733
Fentress118920
Lake11656
Hickman116219
Bledsoe11595
Crockett113326
DeKalb111322
Marion107719
Scott10507
Chester101120
Grainger95416
Decatur93713
Unicoi83626
Claiborne8029
Benton78714
Grundy76914
Lewis74714
Cannon7293
Morgan7096
Union7065
Humphreys6948
Jackson67510
Polk65015
Houston58620
Stewart58415
Clay54018
Sequatchie5215
Meigs48313
Perry47721
Moore3893
Pickett38413
Van Buren3482
Hancock1563

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