DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — With 180 staff members and more than 1,200 students out due to COVID-19, Dothan City Schools has shut down all schools and moved to remote learning as more sicknesses spread throughout the district.

“When we came back last week our numbers every day pretty much doubled, the number of students and staff that we have out,” Dothan City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Dennis Coe said. “So, we’ve watched this very carefully. We feel like at this point, with the number of cases that we have, coupled with the lack of staff, that’s just better to go to a remote setting for the remainder of the week.”

On Monday afternoon, DCS announced they were shutting down transportation to certain schools due to staffing shortages.

Those shortages have spread to all areas of the school, including substitutes, making it difficult to continue in-person learning.

“When you get to that point you’re faced with shutting down individual classes or combining classes, that doesn’t do anything but exacerbate the problem of the virus,” ” Dr. Coe said.

However, the announcement of the school closings and the transportation issues has some parents worried about juggling work and taking care of their children as they begin learning from home now.

“It’s a struggle because of my work schedule,” parent of DCS student, Lashunda Myrick said. “It’s hard to get off. I’m not really sure what’s happening, but I really hope everything works out very soon for Dothan City Schools.”

The closure will remain in effect until next Tuesday, January 18. DCS will continue to monitor the situation but hopes this will be a temporary measure.

Meals will not be provided during this temporary closure, but all athletic events will continue as scheduled.