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County schools go remote for 10 days

In answer to “a significant spike in positive COVID-19 case within our school system,” all Franklin County Schools transitioned to remote learning beginning Aug. 30, according to an announcement from Superintendent Greg Hamilton.

In-person instruction will resume Sept. 7. Hamilton explained that with this window, 10 days – Aug. 28 through Sept. 6 – will have elapsed without in-person instruction.

“That’s the recommended time for isolation due to a positive case,” said Hamilton. “We are hoping this will slow the spike we are seeing in our schools.”

FCS has 119 positive cases systemwide – 3.4 percent of the system.

Friday, students who attended school received prepared work to use for the remote learning period. Those not in school on Friday had the option to pick up the work Monday.

Hamilton said during this time of remote learning, the child nutrition program will have meals available.

For students who are regular car riders, the meal pick-up will be 9 a.m. until noon Sept. 1. For students who are regular bus riders, meals will be delivered by bus Sept. 1 between 9 a.m. and noon.

Russellville City Schools is not moving to remote learning at this time. In a statement Friday, RCS reported 30 positive COVID-19 cases out of approximately 2,800 students and employees – a rate of 1 percent positive for the system.

“With these numbers, RCS has no current plans to suspend in-person learning or move to an all-virtual format,” said RCS Superintendent Heath Grimes. “Our students, faculty and staff are doing an excellent job of wearing their masks, distancing themselves, and we’ve had a good number of employees and students receive the vaccine, which is strongly recommended.

“We believe all of these measures, when used in conjunction with one another, have allowed us to see relative success so far in regards to our COVID numbers.”

Through following guidelines from the Alabama Department of Public Health, 130 students/employees are in quarantine.

Those in quarantine either tested positive or were within three feet of a confirmed COVID-positive person for 15 minutes or longer without wearing a mask.

While masks are required indoors at all RCS facilities, there are situations in which masks are not worn, such as band members playing their instruments.

Grimes noted COVID-19 numbers will fluctuate and might rise in the coming weeks, as per predictions from UAB Hospital in Birmingham. Grimes said RCS will continue to assess the situation on a day-by-day basis and communicate any significant changes.

“We continue to strongly encourage anyone who is eligible to get the vaccine to do so if they are able to, and we encourage everyone to wear masks indoors when in close proximity and social distance if possible, even when not on school grounds,” Grimes added. “What you do to prevent the spread of this virus outside of school can and most certainly will affect our COVID numbers at school.”