School leader temporarily close two Blount County school over COVID-19 concerns

2 Blount Co. schools closed until next week

LOCUST FORK, Ala. (WBRC) - Two Blount County schools will be closed for the next few days because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Locust Fork Elementary School and Locust Fork High School will be closed for in-person learning through September 14th.

School leaders said that’s in response to 12 students, faculty and staff testing positive for the virus and dozens more having to quarantine.

Blount County Superintendent of Education, Rodney Green, said he and other school leaders made the decision Tuesday to close Locust Fork Elementary and Locust Fork High School for three days.

“And by sending everybody home for about seven days we can give those that are already close contacts or maybe they have been sick time to get well and go through their quarantine period and get back to school, and if somebody has been exposed in the last few days, it may give them an opportunity to know if they are going to get sick or not,” Green said.

The temporary shutdown applies to students who receive in-person instruction.

But school leaders said because the district has a remote learning day for all students on Mondays, they were prepared to continue teaching and learning.

“We don’t want to inconvenience our people and our parents, and we want our students to be in school, but when you have a case like this, it’s better to give a little recovery period time,” Green said.

Blount County continues to be a hotspot for COVID-19, and state health leaders said it’s hard to pinpoint what’s causing the spike.

“The bottom line is that this is really a difficult needle to thread, and nobody’s quite figured out how to do it,” said State Health Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health, Dr. Scott Harris.

“We all believe that it’s better to have kids back in for face-to-face instruction, as long as you can do that safely, and yet figuring out a way to actually do that is has been really challenging,” Dr. Harris said.

State health leaders said those recommended guidelines of social distancing and wearing face masks do work, if done properly, but of course the way it’s being done is being left up to individual school districts.

All students whose families choose in-person instruction are scheduled to return on Tuesday, September 15th.

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