Alabama Department of Public Health discussing school changes for coronavirus quarantines, more

The department said it plans on discussing changes with school nurses soon.

Posted: Aug 14, 2020 7:26 PM

WAAY 31 asked the doctor with the Alabama Department of Public Health about the hundreds of students currently in quarantine in North Alabama as schools returned in North Alabama in the last two weeks.

Dr. Karen Landers said health officers are reviewing the current quarantine and isolation guidelines in place for schools. She explained the state hopes to have more guidance and changes for school nurses soon.

"The pediatric data is presenting or showing us that, with precautions, children can come back into the learning environment in the manner the school systems deem is appropriate," she said.

Each district across the state is able to create its own guidelines when it comes to virtual versus in-person learning. Currently, coronavirus related quarantines are forcing hundreds of students across North Alabama to virtual learning.

"What we know in terms of these students and reasons these students were placed in isolation and quarantine was not that students had SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, but rather had some symptoms that could be compatible with this, so we are revisiting that to ensure school nurses have the best information possible," she said.

Students in Morgan County Schools returned Wednesday, and one day later the district announced four people in the school system tested positive for coronavirus and 25 people were in quarantine. In Limestone County, the school system announced six confirmed cases and more than 300 students in quarantine the same night.

Landers wouldn't say exactly what changes in guidance the state department of health could be giving schools.

"I think that in reviewing this we will be revising some guidance and providing some additional information and support to our school nurses in relation to this," he said.

Now all the school districts here in Madison County are starting the school year off virtual, it's unknown if any other districts in
North Alabama might switch over to virtual with the positive cases and quarantines.

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