ADPH offers toolkit to help schools with COVID-19 safety

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 11:37 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Students will return to classrooms this month, and some parents feel they still could be in danger.

“I definitely want them to go back into class. My issue, however, is there’s nothing to keep them safe....all the mask things that the school’s even saying is basically saying like it’s encouraged, it’s friendly recommendations like ‘ok, please wear a mask if you could’ or ‘maybe wear a mask,’” Pike County parent Kayla DuBose said.

The Alabama Department of Public Health is giving guidance to schools across the state as they return for the new school year.

ADPH is offering a 17-page toolkit outlining multiple measures to keep students and faculty safe like implementing universal masking, spacing and vaccinations, isolate and report suspected and diagnosed cases, and protocols for cleaning and disinfection.

“We are mirroring that expert guidance based upon scientific literature, and that’s been what we’ve been doing the entire time,” said Dr. Karen Landers, assistant state health officer with ADPH.

One school system is grateful for the toolkit but plans to continue other protocols in place from last school year.

“Our masking policy has remained in effect from March 20th up until the present time. Once we have information from our medical and scientific community that the pandemic has been contained, then we will look at lessening and loosening restrictions regarding our COVID-19 protocols,” said Macon County Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Brooks.

Landers says the most important way to reduce COVID-19 is to get the vaccine, and she says that it’s important that adults take measures to protect children who cannot get the vaccine.

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