The Tuscaloosa City Schools launched a public tool to track COVID-19 among its students and faculty Friday at the end of a week that saw its elementary and middle schools resume in-person instruction and days before its high schools will do the same.

The new tracker, which went live Friday evening, shows that 13 students have tested positive for the coronavirus so far in 2020, and 8 are considered currently active cases. 115 of the system's nearly 11,000 students are currently quarantined or in isolation.

Of the system's 1,437 faculty and staff members, 10 were considered active COVID-19 cases Friday evening. 47 were quarantined or in isolation.

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The tracker comes with a transparent plan for how TCS will address the coronavirus on its campuses. If a student or faculty member tests positive for the virus, school nurses will work to identify who else in the school has been in close contact with that person.

In accordance with the Alabama Department of Public Health, TCS defines close contact as "someone who has been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive person for more than 15 minutes."

Any student, faculty or staff who is confirmed as having been in close contact with someone who is COVID-positive will be notified of that contact and given a timeline for their own quarantine or isolation.

The new COVID Tracker is also touted as providing real-time data, instead of releasing new figures on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly basis as other area institutions have chosen to do.


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