Area schools are continuing to see a decline in confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the number of those in quarantine continues to decrease as well.
As of last Friday (Feb. 19), no positive cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Jasper City Schools and only seven people were quarantined.
Five of those quarantined were at Jasper High School, while one person at Jasper Jr. High and another at Maddox Intermediate were quarantined.
From Feb. 22-26, one student was confirmed to have COVID-19.
The Walker County Board of Education reported only 10 positive cases of COVID-19 from Feb. 16-Feb. 23. Another 279 were in quarantine (students and staff combined).
Of those reported positive, four were students and six were staff members.
Curry Elementary School made up the majority of those quarantined in the school system — 102.
The decrease in positive COVID-19 cases and those in quarantine is considerable in comparison to what both school systems reported in late 2020.
Walker County Schools reported in early December that 80 people in the school system were positive for COVID-19, which still only represented 1 percent of the school system’s population.
Quarantine numbers in county schools were at an all-time high in early December as well. At one time, nearly 1,100 were quarantined.
The Jasper City school system also had some of its highest reported COVID-19 positive cases and quarantine statistics late last year.
In early December, 17 people in the school system were positive for COVID-19 and 116 were in quarantine.
Superintendent Dr. Ann Jackson announced at Monday’s meeting of the Jasper City Board of Education that the goal is to have students return to schools for traditional instruction, five days a week, beginning after spring break, which is scheduled for March 22-26.
“Since day one our goal has been to have full school, five days a week, and with our COVID numbers and the way things are trending I think that it’s time that we bring our students back five days a week,” Jackson said. “I have been working with our principals and they have been talking to their faculties. That is something that we are going to look forward to and push forward with.”
The Walker County Board of Education has not announced when students may return to schools five days a week.
Story by Nicole Smith – Daily Mountain Eagle
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