29 students have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Tuscaloosa County School System and more than 300 have been quarantined since classes resumed there in late August, according to information released by TCSS Thursday.

In a message to parents, TCSS said 29 of its 19,000 students have tested positive for the coronavirus since August 20th.

In the same time period, 308 students have had to quarantine after possible exposure to the virus from close contact with a confirmed positive case.

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The school system said fewer than 10 of its 2,275 faculty and staff have tested positive for the disease.

The lion's share of the problem is at Brookwood High School, where 125 students have been quarantined after five students who are involved in extracurricular activities tested positive. TCSS noted that Brookwood boasts around 1,000 enrolled students, and the school will remain open.

"TCSS has been in contact with ADPH regarding the COVID-19 cases at Brookwood High School, and it has been determined there is no need for any additional safety measures at the school, beyond the extensive cleaning and sanitation already being conducted," the message said.

TCSS did not provide a firm number of faculty and staff members who were quarantined after a possible COVID-19 exposure, but said 43 employees were listed absent Wednesday under the new "COVID-19" code.

Of course, it is our hope that none of our students or faculty/staff members would be affected by COVID-19. However, we know the virus is in our community, and that it will impact our schools. Considering the highly contagious nature of the virus, we are encouraged that the steps we are taking to reduce risks are effective. These key steps involve wearing masks, social distancing, cleaning within our schools, hand washing, and quarantine for those who have been exposed to the virus. We ask our entire TCSS community to keep maintaining these healthy practices, especially as we move into a long holiday weekend. It is our goal to keep our schools open for On-Campus Learning, and we all must keep working together to make that possible.

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