SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Nine schools in the Shelby County School District will be transitioning to remote learning on Wednesday until Friday, Jan. 21.

According to a post on the Shelby County AL Schools Facebook page, the nine schools will be making the transition due to a large number of faculty, staff and students throughout the schools testing positive for COVID. The number of positive cases will be re-evaluated on Friday to determine is students will be able to return to school Monday.

The post also mentions that the school district is currently experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers and substitute support staff. The district is monitoring the remaining schools in the system.

Schools that will be transitioning to remote learning include:

  • Calera High School
  • Calera Middle School
  • Calera Intermediate School
  • Shelby Elementary School
  • Columbiana Middle School
  • Chelsea Park Elementary School
  • Oak Mountain Elementary School
  • Linda Nolen Learning Center
  • Oak Mountain High School

Parents of schools that are remote may call any Shelby County school participating in in-person learning to pick up a meal for their student.

“Not only are we short, but others are short and those subs only go so far,” Public Relations and Community Education Supervisor Cindy Warner said. “When we get to this point where we say that we just simply are not operational, it really is that we truly have tried everything that we know.”

Warner said the district uses a sub service for help, but it, too, has been depleted because of the high number of community cases in the region.

“We have tried our hardest to not have to make these decisions to transition to remote because we know that in person learning is best,” Warner said.

Higher community transmission has yielded a need for more COVID-19 testing. The Jefferson County Department of Health launched a drive-thru testing site on Tuesday at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex.

“Our local capacity had gotten overwhelmed, so we just needed to have relief out and that’s why we went out to open up another site,” Deputy Health Officer Jefferson County Department of Health Dr. David Hicks said.

Because our hospitals are asking for you to get tested elsewhere, the health department wanted to step in and now offers a saliva PCR test.

“There’s nothing wrong with getting a nasal swab, this is just a different type of way to attain a specimen that still good,” Hicks said.

The health department says the Hoover Met is centrally located in the county – and can accommodate 100 people per hour.

It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. All you do is drive up and spit in a cup – and you can expect results within 24 to 48 hours.

Hicks said Jefferson County is the third in the state to partner with Easy Testing to provide this less invasive testing option.