BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The number of COVID-19 cases and related quarantines is up in Jefferson County Schools.
According to the school system’s COVID-19 dashboard, the number of coronavirus cases among students and faculty jumped from 274 two weeks ago to 545 last week.
The number of quarantines in the school system nearly tripled in the same time period, up from 771 two weeks ago to 2740 last week.
The increase in cases and quarantines has led the system to require universal masking beginning Thursday through at least Oct. 1.
“Our primary goal is to keep students safe and healthy,” Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin said in a letter to parents. “I am concerned with the growing number of students who are excluded from school. In one week we saw our exclusion numbers jump from 3% to 10%.”
Gonsoulin said the change will prevent the school system from requiring quarantines of those who have been exposed to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The district’s COVID-19 dashboard does not break down case and quarantine numbers by individual schools.