About 150 Discovery Middle School students are in quarantine due to possible coronavirus exposure, Madison City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols announced Tuesday.
“Most of these quarantines were the result of two separate athletic teams being exposed to a positive case,” Nichols said in a news release. “Also, among the COVID-19 positive students attributing to the quarantined numbers were DMS students who attended a non-school gathering with other DMS students.”
Read Nichols’ full news release below:
Dear MCS Family,
I want to update you on COVID-19 information and quarantining in our schools. As I made known earlier in the year, when the school system returned to school-based learning for all students, the ability to complete social distancing under the Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines of more than six feet would not be possible in every classroom situation. Therefore, the number of students that could be quarantined would be more prevalent.
Yesterday, we had a situation where a couple of positive exposures affected a large number of students at Discovery Middle School. Approximately 150 DMS students were sent home to quarantine as required by Madison City Schools protocols following ADPH guidelines. Most of these quarantines were the result of two separate athletic teams being exposed to a positive case. Also, among the COVID-19 positive students attributing to the quarantined numbers were DMS students who attended a non-school gathering with other DMS students.
While we did have an increase in isolated COVID-19 cases at Discovery, I do not see it as a pattern that would cause us take any schedule change action
with regard to school at this time.
As our COVID-19 numbers indicate, positive tests in our district still remain less than 1% of our staff and student population. Furthermore, the current positive test percentage in our county has dropped from 22.5% to 14.8% in the past few weeks. The data we are receiving daily shows this reduction in positivity rate continuing to decline in our area. Also, our county has been moved from High Risk to Low Risk on the ADPH dashboard.
Please know that I understand the anxiety all of us have felt and are feeling during this pandemic. As a parent of a student that is attending school-based learning each day and as a husband whose wife works in the health care industry, I know all of us will be glad to see this journey end as soon as possible. Most of the positive interactions we have dealt with have not occurred inside our schools. Your assistance to have students remain vigilant concerning social distancing away from school will certainly help to keep our school schedule open for face-to-face instruction.
Additionally, if your student feels ill in any way, please keep them home for observation. We can work with you as it relates to their absences. Many of our positive cases have started as simple symptoms of sinus or a cold and then quickly changed to more individual symptoms of COVID-19. These few days of observation will help us mitigate many of our quarantines.
I appreciate your support of our district. Our administrators, teachers and staff are doing an excellent job of serving our children. Let us continue to do our part to keep everyone safe.