Several Alabama school districts release COVID guidelines heading into new semester

Coronavirus

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — With cases continuing to rise in Alabama, several school districts have released their protocols heading into the new semester.

Dr. David Kimberlin with Children’s of Alabama said the possibility of everyone catching the virus is likely, due to how infectious the omicron variant is.

“The definition of high for transmission in the community is like here, we are (raises his hand out of screen) here in terms of the amount of disease in our community right now,” Dr. Kimberiln said.

Birmingham and Talladega City Schools will require masks for the time being. BCS Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan says they will continue the policy as long as the CDC recommends so.

“With our mitigation efforts, I think we will be able to continue school without having to shut down as a whole district,” Dr. Sullivan said.

Dr. Quentin J. Lee of Talladega City School says the mask requirement is not only keeping students protected, but providing an in-person learning environment is imperative to their learning.

“For right now, we’re definitely wanting to come back to campus to make sure we’re continuing to fill in those learning gaps for our students. As well as bringing the masking back as a first line of defense with our COVID-19 protocol,” Dr. Lee said.

Other school districts like Homewood and Hoover City Schools are keeping masks optional, but will adapt as the semester goes on.

Besides mask wearing indoors, Dr, Kimberlin says the vaccine is still the best protection. With the FDA approving Pfzier’s booster for kids 12 years and older, he says now is the time to get the shot.

“To minimize those risks of MISC and the potential of long COVID sorts of effects, it’s to get vaccinated,” Dr. Kimberlin said.

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