Jefferson County health officer offers praise, warning about COVID-19 in kids

Jefferson Co. health officer talks cases in schools

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama COVID-19 dashboard just for Kindergarten through 12th grade has been public for nearly two weeks and most schools have submitted data.

Jefferson County Schools in particular reported 54 cases this last week, but that number needs context.

The full dashboard includes a little over 1,000 total cases reported last Friday, and you can see the dark red shading over Jefferson County, Blount County and Tuscaloosa.

“People should understand that’s voluntary reporting, parents reporting in about their children, teachers reporting and then schools reporting to the state,” said Dr. Mark Wilson, Jefferson County’s Health Officer.

Jefferson County Schools serves 36,000 students, so 54 cases of COVID-19 is a small percentage of students.

“A lot of what we are seeing is random cases here and there in different schools, grade levels and different classes,” said Dr. Wilson.

Dr. Wilson says local schools are doing a good job protecting students, but they can only control what happens during school hours.

“Our main concern is, as it has been for several weeks now, people’s private activities, teenagers getting together for a Halloween party,” said Dr. Wilson.

He warns that while younger kids might not be hit hard by COVID, staff is more vulnerable.

Other schools in Alabama have had to shut down due to staff members testing positive

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