723 COVID-19 cases reported in Alabama schools this week, data says

Coronavirus

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama State Department of Education and Department of Public Health has released a new dashboard to track COVID-19 cases in school systems across the state.

In total, 723 cases were reported across the state this week among students, faculty, and staff that reported their diagnosis to their nurses. The state plans to release new data on a weekly basis, like with its risk indicator.

Currently, here are the cases reported this week by our local school systems:

  • Andalusia City — 5
  • Barbour County Schools — Unreported
  • Coffee County Schools — 5
  • Covington County — Less than five
  • Dale County Schools — 19
  • Daleville City Schools — Less than five
  • Dothan City Schools — 9
  • Elba City Schools — Less than five
  • Enterprise City Schools — 16
  • Eufaula City Schools — Less than five
  • Geneva City Schools — 5
  • Geneva County — 7
  • Henry County Schools — Less than five
  • Houston County Schools — 15
  • Opp City Schools — 0
  • Ozark City Schools — 5

“We are hoping that this dashboard will serve two primary purposes: keeping our parents and communities aware of what is happening in their schools so they can make informed decisions about their children; as well as make sure we are doing everything we can within the school building and school system to mitigate the instances of COVID-19 exposure,” said Dr. Eric Mackey, state superintendent of education.

To help with the process, the state has trained school nurses to make sure they are familiar with reporting these cases to the dashboard.

According to Jennifer Ventress, Lead School Nurse for the ALSDE, nurses must report “communicable diseases – including COVID-19 – on the ADPH report card and report COVID-19 cases to this new dashboard.”

“Our nurses are essential to keeping schools and communities as safe as possible and will continue to work with ADPH on efforts such as these,” Ventress said.

The published data will not identify any students or staff members and will not point to particular schools.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “We want to balance the privacy of students, faculty and staff with our wish to provide parents the best information about COVID-19 cases in their children’s school system.”

“Student safety and concern for their individual right to privacy is a huge concern for us. There are federal guidelines and considerations that must be adhered to,” Ventress said. “Our objective is to report as accurately as possible while maintaining the integrity of everyone’s medical information. These numbers will be reported by school system, not by individual school, to discourage using the process of elimination to determine who may be impacted by the virus.”

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