ADPH releases toolkit for reopening schools

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Back to School(Colin Lamar | KTUU)
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 9:48 AM CDT
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By Joshua Gauntt | August 3, 2020 at 10:27 PM CDT - Updated August 4 at 5:33 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) -The Alabama Department of Public Health is providing some new guidance for schools preparing to reopen. Monday, ADPH released its highly anticipated toolkit for schools.

The 85-page toolkit is filled with things that health leaders have been talking about like making sure students have access to soap and water for frequent hand washing, wearing face coverings in school, social distancing in classrooms and more. It also talks about how schools should properly clean and disinfect their facilities.

When it comes to learning, the state recommends teachers should change classrooms instead of having a group of students change classes and filling up the hallways.

The toolkit also breaks down scenarios that may happen in the classroom like if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, what happens next? The state is advising them to quarantine. Depending on the situation that could be 10-14 days. Also, anyone who has come in close contact with the symptomatic person will be sent home.

School nurses will act as contact tracers-so to speak-in schools to find out who else may be exposed. School and health leaders hope things don't come to this, but plans are in place if need be.

“Once that student tests positive then we have to make a determination based on that student’s individual classroom, what kinds of preventive measure we’re going on there. What kind of proximity did that student have to other students in terms of contact?” Dr. Karen Landers, with ADPH said.

ADPH hopes this roadmap for reopening will help school officials make the best decisions possible to keep everyone healthy.

“All of these measures together coupled with the expert guidance of our educators, will help us to move in this school year while it is in a different setting, but in a setting that we’ll be able to provide the opportunities for our children as well as keep them safe,” Landers said.

Tuesday, ADPH will meet with school districts to walk them through the toolkit. You can read it in its entirety here:

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