North Alabama parents concerned with new coronavirus guidelines in schools

"When you lower the standards, the cases are going to go right back up. It happens every single time.”

Posted: Oct 9, 2020 6:30 PM
Updated: Oct 9, 2020 10:30 PM

On Thursday, the Alabama Department of Public Health changed its coronavirus guidelines in schools. Students and faculty only have to quarantine 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 or smell.

The state says the changes will keep more students and staff in the classroom. Most of the parents WAAY 31's Grace Campbell said they were surprised to hear about changes to the guidelines. 

“I was confused on why in the world this wasn’t taken as seriously as it should have been and why they closed schools in March when we had like 1,000 cases in the whole United States versus now we’re not even going to quarantine you but we have 10 cases in the school," said Morgan County parent, Kera Vest.

Vest has two kids in the traditional school setting at Austinville Elementary. She said she's thinking about switching them to virtual schooling because of the new guidelines.

“This whole close contact doesn’t get quarantined type situation, like how close do you have to be in order to say this is, your health is at risk we should quarantine you," said Vest.

The only major symptom that requires close contacts to be sent home is a new loss of taste or smell, but one mom said she's worried her young daughter may not realize they have that symptom.

“My 5-year-old is not going to understand I don’t have my taste or my smell," said Nichole Hache. "She doesn’t understand half the time when she’s sick."

Deborah Brasher's children are learning virtually. She would rather see strict precautions until the situation is under control.

“It feels like they’re just like, ‘okay, the cases are going down’ okay when you lower the standards, the cases are going to go right back up. It happens every single time," said Brasher.

Vest agrees.

“In two years I would like to look back and say, ‘that was a rough year,’ versus, ‘I cannot believe this is still going on,'" said Vest.

Anyone experiencing one of the three major symptoms will still be sent home. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health will publish the new COVID-19 toolkit on Tuesday.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 685321

Reported Deaths: 8391
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby761671128
Davidson70706661
Knox38646393
Hamilton34556326
Rutherford33114283
Unassigned22759126
Williamson21364138
Sumner18205230
Out of TN1612079
Wilson14405155
Montgomery14367149
Sullivan12577211
Washington11889191
Blount11887124
Maury10941123
Bradley1075190
Sevier10461108
Putnam9931136
Madison9099178
Robertson761885
Hamblen6954109
Anderson6759102
Greene6569108
Tipton619065
Gibson5630111
Coffee560681
Cumberland537872
Dickson534678
Bedford532086
Roane519179
Carter5091112
Lawrence507569
McMinn506673
Warren497553
Loudon493750
Jefferson474975
Dyer473682
Monroe455162
Hawkins444968
Franklin410758
Obion399478
Fayette396251
Rhea381556
Lincoln378344
Marshall343536
Cocke342856
Weakley339448
Cheatham335230
Henderson332056
Campbell323940
Giles321071
White310043
Hardeman308752
Carroll307859
Hardin297647
Lauderdale293131
Macon287350
Wayne260719
Henry260358
Overton252942
DeKalb241741
Haywood239745
McNairy238142
Smith230527
Trousdale228714
Marion227731
Scott225231
Hickman222734
Fentress212531
Claiborne210129
Grainger208135
Johnson201532
Morgan188614
Crockett180338
Bledsoe174110
Chester173237
Unicoi166843
Cannon157019
Lake155319
Decatur147226
Polk142817
Grundy139320
Union138721
Sequatchie136518
Humphreys132617
Benton131935
Lewis127220
Meigs114016
Stewart105220
Jackson103721
Perry94725
Houston93922
Clay93726
Moore7959
Pickett67619
Van Buren6587
Hancock4026

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