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Arab City Schools Superintendent, ADPH official respond to COVID surge

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:52 PM CST
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ARAB, Ala. (WAFF) - Arab City Schools are requiring that all students and staff there wear face coverings after seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Managing COVID cases in the school district has been quite the challenge for Arab City Schools Superintendent Jonny Berry. In just one week, he says cases increased from 24 to 56. Now, mandatory masks are in place for all faculty and students.

He says 8 staff members are currently out, which is a concern to help keep students in the classroom.

“Now there are more who are out awaiting tests, the biggest concern that got us to this point is that we had bus drivers that were starting to get sick. So, if we can’t get students here, we are going to have a problem. But fortunately, the bus drivers that we have on the positive list are coming back tomorrow,” said Berry.

The mask mandate will stay in place until Jan. 21. Berry says they will see how numbers are then, and then decide if they will extend the mandate.

Right now, there are 16,000 school-related, active COVID-19 cases across the state.

Regionally, 2,000 adults and 70 children are in hospitals with covid and

13 people are in the ICU, and a few are on ventilators.

That’s according to ADPH Northern District Medical Officer Wes Stubblefield.

“Research is showing that this particular variant of the virus is very infectious, possibly two to three times more than the delta variant, which is more infectious than the original variant and much more infectious than the flu. So, it’s still a very infectious illness and spreads rapidly among close contacts, household members, and crowded situations,” said Stubblefield.

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