Eight schools in Pickens County will switch to virtual learning for 10 days next month in an attempt to slow the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout their student bodies, administrators announced Tuesday afternoon.

Jamie Chapman, the superintendent of Pickens County Schools, said that in addition to making face-covering mandatory for all students, employees and visitors over the age of 7 in PCS buildings, all schools will switch to remote learning programs from Tuesday, September 7th until Friday, September 17th.

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"This decision was based on the high COVID positivity rate and quarantining that has impacted our schools since August 12, 2021," Chapman wrote. "We are having positive COVID numbers at this point that are higher than at any point in the 2020-2021 school year."

Affected schools include Aliceville Elementary, Middle and High School, Gordo Elementary and High School, Pickens County High School, the Pickens County College and Career Center and Reform Elementary School.

"We hope that this remote learning time will slow the spread of COVID in our schools," Chapman wrote. "During this remote learning time, please make good choices and decisions regarding travel, attendance and exposure to venues that could increase you and your child's contact to COVID-19 and the DELTA variant viruses."

PCS's Child Nutrition Program will continue to make breakfast and a hot lunch available for all children under the age of 18, eligible for pickup from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Aliceville Elementary, the Gordo cafeteria and the Reform Elementary cafeteria.

Read the full release from Chapman below, and stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more updates on the pandemic's effect on area schools.

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