ADPH Relaunches COVID-19 Dashboard for Alabama Public Schools
Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris has announced the Alabama Department of Public Health has relaunched its COVID-19 dashboard for Alabama’s public schools, now that the 2021-22 school year has started.
He made the announcement at a news conference Friday morning that Alabama News Network streamed live on our digital platforms.
The dashboard tracks the number of COVID-19 cases in school systems statewide.
Harris says this first week should be considered a test week, as some parts of the dashboard are incomplete and not all school systems have reported.
The incomplete dashboard shows 4,337 cases in Alabama schools, with 207 in Montgomery Public Schools and 36 in Dallas County Schools. Many other systems in the metro area, including Autauga and Elmore counties, Pike Road and Selma, did not report.
ADPH said Thursday that 5,571 children ages 5 to 17 were reported to have contracted COVID-19 last week. That compares to 702 cases in the same period last year. Harris says it’s a 700% increase year-to-year. He says it is not known whether the children got COVID-19 in the classroom or off campus.
“We are really in a crisis situation,” Harris said, referring to the state’s situation overall. “I don’t know how much longer we’re going to be able to do this,” he said. As of Thursday, the state is -40 for ICU beds available.
Harris says when it comes to schools, the state wants to keep students in school for face-to-face learning. To do that, Harris says:
- Those 12 years old and up and all school workers should be vaccinated
- There should be universal face masking in schools among all people, regardless of vaccination status
- Schools should identify those with COVID-19 and get them out of the classroom
- Those who have positive COVID-19 cases at home should be out of the classroom
Harris says that some have complained that the guidance has been confusing. He says the guidance is not confusing. He says the situation is preventable, and that some people would rather argue about masks than take the steps needed to keep themselves and others safe.