BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey announced Thursday leaders will release COVID numbers for each school system.
“The public needs to know. It’s a story even if there is one positive case in the school,” said Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey.
Dr. Mackey says the numbers will be released on a weekly basis and will be managed by ADPH. School nurses have been required to send positive COVID reports to the state. It’s mandated that health officials are notified within 4 hours of a presumptive diagnosis, but the data had not available to the public from ADPH. Some schools had opted to self report.
In a previous interview, the state’s top pediatrician, Dr. Karen Landers noted it was possible that the information could be available in the future - health leaders would need to make sure that reporting wouldn’t compromise privacy.
Dr. Mackey says the data will be categorized by district and will include the total number of positive cases. It won’t give specifics on who has tested positive and won’t include the number of students quarantined.
Local Alabama Education Association members are praising the state’s decision to release the data. The teachers' union had been working to create a nationwide COVID school data list when members realized the information wasn’t available.
Local AEA Director, Dr. Kem Steward released a statement saying,
“I am very pleased to know Dr. Harris and ADPH, along with Dr. Mackey, have decided that it is a good idea to make this information know because the public has a right to know how many cases a school or school system has reported. This information should be available on the dashboard along with county information. I believe that this will ease some of the concerns for the educators as well as parents across the state.”
No roll out date for the data has been set.