Alabama public school students won't return to classrooms this school year

Marco Green
March 27, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across Alabama and topped 500 confirmed cases Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced students will not return to classrooms this school year.

"Students who do not have quality enrichment in summer loose proficiency and we recognize this would be the same situation but compounded if we did not find a way to be flexible with classroom instruction", Ivey said. Folks this is real.

It has been nearly two weeks since the state announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19. The Jackson County resident "passed away in a facility outside the state of Alabama", officials with the Alabama Department of Public Health said in a news release on Wednesday. The patient was a resident of Jackson County. Health officials are investigating as many as eight other deaths that could be related to the virus.

An Alabama resident who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has died, according to the state's health department. Wide swaths of west and south Alabama, mostly rural areas, are not reporting any cases.

"We express our deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones of the patient who died, as well as to the families of everyone who has been affected by this outbreak", State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. He said half of the hospitalized patients are in intensive care and a third are on mechanical ventilation. She said that it is best for people should stay at home if they have that option. "You staying at home is the only way we can help to mitigate this virus". Ivey has instructed each of the state's public schools to put a plan in place to complete the 2019-2020 school year using "alternate methods of instruction", which include online learning or packets that teachers will prepare for students to use at home.

Alabama has ordered all restaurants to end on-site dining, closed public and private beaches, and prohibited non-work gatherings of more than 25 people where people can't stay 6 feet (2 meters) apart.

Ivey said a shelter-in-place order is not under consideration at this time, citing economic concerns.

Some Alabama cities are going further than the state. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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