The highly contagious Delta variant of the novel Coronavirus continues to spread across West Alabama, leaving educators concerned about the safety of students and faculty as a new school year begins.

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The Alabama Department of Public Health issued its guidance for the return to the classroom Monday, suggesting that masks and vaccinations are the most important step educators can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

"For those who are eligible, vaccination remains our most potent strategy for preventing disease among students, faculty and staff, and vaccination also eliminates the need for quarantine among many of the close contacts in our schools. Other mitigation strategies, such as face coverings, distancing, and hygiene measures are also important, especially in those communities that are experiencing high levels of COVID-19 transmission," said State Health Officer Doctor Scott Harris.

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For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the ADPH's portal HERE.

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