Alabama schools will remain open for now

Alabama schools will remain open for now
(Source: KATV)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric G. Mackey says he is not recommending closing schools and the Alabama Department of Health says they are not recommending closing schools.

Dr. Mackey says he is recommending schools postpone or cancel events like field trips, performances or school assemblies. The recommendations follow State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris saying the best practice right now is to not have 500 or more people gathered in one area at once.

Dr. Mackey reiterated it’s not the total number of people in a school, it’s the total number of people being together in a tight space. That’s why he’s asking schools to cancel assemblies and outings.

The state school system is also canceling teacher and staff conferences for the next two months.

When asked about cafeterias and cleanliness, Dr. Mackey said that’s actually one of the cleanest areas in a school, because employees already follow strict guidelines and safety precautions for food safety.

Dr. Mackey said in schools across the state leaders are reiterating the importance of handwashing and covering coughs.

When asked about sports, Mackey said AHSAA will release new guidance on youth sports, but starting next week “there will be a change” in how high school athletics are played in Alabama.

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