Schools required to report COVID-19 cases; masks effective for HCS

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — School districts in the state of Alabama are required to report COVID-19 cases on a weekly basis, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Currently, the Alabama COVID-19 K-12 dashboard shows some Wiregrass schools systems have turned in their homework a little early, but there are a few who have not reported.

Houston County and Dothan City Schools administrators say the dashboard has just become a requirement this week and their nurses have reported numbers to the state.

Speaking of numbers, the implemented mask mandate for Houston County Schools has had a huge effect on COVID-19 cases.

“Our numbers are in half of what they were, we were averaging about 28 positive new cases a day and now we’re averaging 14,” Houston County Schools Superintendent Brandy White said. “With the staff, we were at four and now we’re at 2.”

Superintendent Brandy White says although the mask mandate is resulting in a low number of cases, he has experienced severe cases within the school system.

“A few of our students have been hospitalized none of those have been critical that we know of,” White said. “As far as our employees we have had a few of our employees and their families hit very hard. We’ve had some of our employees who have been on a vent, still on a vent, and some that have been in critical condition.”

But White says the plan is to stick with the mask mandate as long as it’s needed in order to keep employees working and students learning in school.

The schools that are listed as ‘unreported’ are expected to have their numbers on the dashboard by the end of the week.

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