Early County Schools suffering teacher and staff shortage due to omicron variant

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 11:19 AM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - School has only been back in session for five days in Early County, and the school system is already facing issues caused by the omicron variant of COVID. Early County High School is down 17 teachers due to COVID since the start of the new semester after holiday break.

The superintendent says the rate of infection with omicron quickly spreading is creating a big challenge. With the county facing a shortage of substitute teachers, filling the gap has not become any easier.

“We were dealing with students and staff members who had been exposed to COVID seemed to be getting sick maybe on day five or seven after exposure,” says Dr. Jennifer Brown, Superintendent, Early County Schools. “We had time to do a better job of contact tracing and getting those people home to quarantine but with the omicron variant it seems to be a little quicker. Where if you were exposed, you seem to be coming down with symptoms maybe day two or day three, and so it’s hard to kind of keep up with by the time you find out someone who had been exposed two days ago, they’re already not feeling well.”

Right now, the school is expecting to see more job overlap and some staff are currently being utilized as bus drivers.

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