Mask Debates Rage As Local Schools Welcome Students Back
Coronavirus is not making a return to Alabama, it never left.
Although more people are getting vaccinated, Alabama is still last or close to last in vaccination rates.
As schools begin to welcome students back in to the classroom, and the highly contagious delta variant continues to thrive, there is new concern.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris says that 26 people who were fully vaccinated have died in Alabama.
Harris says those cases, unfortunately, were in people who ” you would expect to be high risk,” such as the elderly and people who were dealing with chronic health conditions and diseases.
Last week, for the first time since early 2021 Alabama recorded double digit death’s for three days in a row, but Harris says these numbers still support the case for vaccinations.
As many schools in our area begin to welcome students back, there have been at least 4 straight days with more than 3000 new cases.
Alabama News Network’s Jerome Jones spoke with an MPS parent who says she is afraid of what can happen when the new school year starts.
” It’s very scary. I don’t think we should wait until another outbreak happens for us to jump in and take care of then. The procedures that could be put in place now should be done.”
Yet, some students believe that the protocols put in place by their school, is enough to keep them safe.
“My school has certain standards that we are required to do like wear the masks, and be 6 feet apart. So I’m not really worried about it,” said one Tuskegee University student.
While the good news is that more people are being vaccinated, still troubling news comes from Alabama COVID-19 data.
Last week nearly 2000 people were in Alabama hospitals with COVId-19.
Out of that number 38 were children which raises the question, what to do about those students under 12 who cannot get a shot?
ADPH says the Alabama County with the fastest growing number of cases is Mobile County, but cases are rising in all of the states metro areas.
The CDC guidance for schools this year is three feet spacing as opposed to 6 feet as long as there is consistency mask wearing.
Some local school districts are requiring mask, other are leaving mask optional.