School systems on dealing with COVID cases

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 10:28 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re about three weeks into the new school year and school districts all over the state are dealing with COVID.

Some districts have even changed their policies on masking.

We’re obviously still in a pandemic, and school leaders knew there would be challenges associated with that, but local district leaders said they are persevering and doing all they can to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Bessemer City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Autumm Jeter, said COVID cases have remained low in her district.

She said that’s because the district is following guidance from the CDC and the Jefferson County Department of Health.

“We have made the correct decision about masking here for Bessemer City Schools students and employees by…at the onset…at the beginning of the school year that we all were wearing them and that kept our numbers down,” Dr. Jeter said.

“We know and science tells us that wearing masks helps mitigate the spread,” said Sherrel Wheeler Stewart with Birmingham City Schools.

Birmingham City Schools is also dealing with a small number of COVID cases and said its mask mandate will stand as long as necessary.

District leaders said it’s too soon to give a threshold for when schools would shut down.

“Dr. Mackey has said several times that he would like for in person learning to continue to the greatest extent possible at our schools, so that for us is still a bit out,” Stewart explained.

20 students and three adults have tested positive for COVID in Fairfield since school started three weeks ago.

Dr. Regina Thompson says a pre-k class has been shut down, but she said that’s because it’s harder to keep little ones away from each other.

She remains confident in the procedures they have in place.

“We’re doing the contact tracing and we’re trying to see who they’re around how close they were to other students. We actually hired a crew that actually comes in and cleans the buildings every evening,” Dr. Thompson said.

District leaders said they hope they don’t have shut down and return to remote learning, but students are equipped with devices in case they have to.

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