The Tuscaloosa County School System reported 84 more confirmed COVID-19 cases and 425 students quarantined during the two-week period from September 11th through the 25th.

The figures represent only a small fraction of the total 19,000 students in the system, but still show the virus spreading through student populations at a slowly increasing rate. 29 students tested positive from August 20 - September 1, 48 from September 1 through September 11 and 84 in the last reported two-week period.

Since classes resumed in mid-August, the system has reported 161 cumulative cases among the student body and said 982 students have had to quarantine due to possible exposure to the virus.

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In a press release from the office of superintendent Keri Johnson, TCSS said around 75 percent of the new cases were reported in middle or high school students, a phenomenon likely attributable to their increased interaction during class changes and extracurricular activities compared to elementary school students.

 

"Considering the highly contagious nature of the virus, we continue to be encouraged that the steps we are taking to reduce risks in our schools are effective," Johnson said in the release. "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."

Johnson said TCSS believes the lion's share of COVID-19 cases in the system are being contracted outside of school and urged students and parents to take guidance on preventing the spread of the virus seriously.

"In order to keep our infection rates down, we ask our entire TCSS community to maintain healthy practices outside of school," Johnson said. "This is absolutely essential in keeping our students and staff members healthy and keeping our schools open and as safe as possible."