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Cullman County Schools shutdown five schools, CDC because of COVID

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 8:13 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2021 at 4:40 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Cullman County Schools announced Wednesday that they will shutting down five schools this Friday because of the spread of COVID.

UPDATE: Due to high COVID numbers, the Child Development Center will be closed beginning Monday, August 30. The CDC will reopen Monday, September 13. In addition to three students testing positive and 43 students identified as close contacts… a total of 12 CDC staff members are out due to COVID (8 positive, 4 close contacts).

The announcement comes as the school system adopted new COVID protocols Tuesday to deal the increasing spread of the virus.

This was not an easy decision for Barnette or the Cullman County Board of Education.

According to the new policy, if a15% of the student population at a school is infected with the virus, then a mask ordinance will be implemented. If the infection rates jump to 20%, the school will shift to virtual learning for two weeks. WBRC Fox6 News has been told the five schools are over 30% infected. They are mostly in the Good Hope area. That’s why the superintendent is calling for closing for two weeks.

“We made the decision to transition these five schools to remote learning for a period of two weeks and we hope this will give all of these students time to get past this and be able to return to school,” said Shane Barnette, Cullman County School Superintendent.

Barnette said protecting their students and teachers remains a top priority. Members of the Cullman County Board of Education said this decision has been draining and hard on-board members. They wanted to do all they could to keep students in the classroom but the threat of the spread of the virus forced their hand to try to protect the students.

The affected schools are Good Hope Primary, Good Hope Elementary, Good Hope Middle and Good Hope High School and Parkside K-8.

Student Data through 4pm Friday, August 27:

• COVID positive: 198

• Close contact: 820

• Total: 1,018 or 10.8%

Current enrollment K-12 is 9,425.

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