Schools prepare for upcoming year, monitoring increase in COVID cases

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 7:53 PM CDT
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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - ”The game plan for this year is to return to normalcy as much as we can and to do so safely,” said Muscle Shoals Assistant Superintendent Denise Woods.

The pandemic turned last school year upside down and forced many students out of their classrooms.

But a much more normal school year starts August 6th in Muscle Shoals.

“As of right now, the plan is if it’s something that we normally do that is traditional or apart of our culture, those things will all be back,” said Woods.

Woods said they are keeping an eye on rising COVID-19 cases across the state.

According to the state hospital association out of 290 cases in Alabama hospitals on Monday, four were pediatric patients. Today, there are 367 confirmed positive COVID-19 patients, of those, nine are pediatric.

Woods said the school district has safety measures in place if there are potential spikes like masks and social distancing recommendations.

“Of course we’ll still monitor cases. If we see an uptick and we need to put precautions back in place we reserve the right with our stakeholders to do that,” said Woods.

Only students 12 and up are eligible for vaccines. School leaders are going to pay extra attention to younger students.

“We expect we will have pockets where we will have students quarantined and close contacts will still be quarantined. That’s still going to happen but we’re just hoping that it’s not at a scale as some situations were last year,” said Woods.

Colbert County Superintendent Chris Hand said that students will also return to full in-person classes and that social distancing and masks are an option but not required specifically for those who haven’t received the vaccine.

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