CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — In a news release Friday, Cullman County Schools announced that more than 10% of their district students are out of school due to a confirmed positive test or due to a student being a close contact.
Data provided with the release showed that the system has 198 positive cases and 820 close contacts out of a total of 9,425 K-12 students. That comes out to be 1,018 students, or 10.8% of total enrollment.
Cullman County Schools said that they are seeing high numbers in Good Hope and Parkside. Those campuses have been closed. They also said that they are considering more campuses going remote with the increasing numbers across the district.
“While masks are not popular, we strongly advise everyone to wear one,” the release said. “If your child attends a school where COVID percentages are over 15%, masks are required… and that has been communicated from each individual school principal.”
The school system said that they do not have legal authority to require infected or exposed persons to quarantine, that the authority lies with the Alabama Department of Public Health. They said that they do, however, have the authority to prevent infected or exposed persons from coming on school campuses.
State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey wrote a letter to superintendents this week.
“The ADPH has received reports that some school systems are identifying and then notifying close contacts but not excluding those persons from campus. If a close contact is identified, school systems are required to exclude them from campus,” Mackey wrote in the letter.
Cullman County Schools said that they are following the state policy and will continue to identify close contacts and require them to be off-campus for 10 days from the date of exposure.
The release also stated that the Child Development Center will be closed from Monday, Aug. 30, to Monday, Sep. 13 due to high COVID numbers.
Three students tested positive and 43 students were identified as close contacts at the Child Development Center. A total of 12 staff members are out due to COVID, eight being positive cases and four being close contacts.