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CCSD announces COVID numbers, updates

Before going on spring break, the Chambers County School District had reported zero positive COVID-19 cases for two weeks.

The CCSD released its Covid numbers on Friday from March 27 to April 9 and reported just one positive case.

Overall, five students and one employee were quarantined.

“Our covid numbers are dropping,” Chambers County School District Superintendent Casey Chambley said. “We are so pleased with our lead nurse, all our nurses and the job our teachers have done.”

Though Gov. Kay Ivey announced that the statewide mask mandate expired on Friday, Chambley said the CCSD would continue to require masks for the remainder of the school year. Though masks will be worn, the restrictions have been relaxed.

“We are going to continue to wear masks throughout the end of the year, but we are going to relax those restrictions,” Chambley said. “We’re going to ask that they still have the mask on when they’re in the building, in the classrooms and in the common areas. However, when they’re outside for P.E., or they’re walking outside or they’re at an athletic event, they’re not going to have to wear those.”

Chambley said the mask requirement will allow the district to maintain the low number of positive cases for the remainder of the school year.

“You don’t want to just release everything. We’re in playoff baseball time, playoff softball time and state tournament time for track, so you don’t want something to happen where you have one of your kids where we were reckless with something and someone got sick,” Chambley said. “Right now, we’re going to stay with what the Alabama Department of Public Health recommends. What our hope is, we maintain the track that we’re on, keep our numbers down as low as we can and get to the end of the year. We’ve really opened things up. Our kids are back in the lunchroom, they’re back in the media center, we’re holding prom and full graduations.”

Both Valley High School and LaFayette High School will have their proms this year. However, there will be some safety measures taken place.

“We’re not just going to pile everyone in the auditoriums for lead-out, but we will still have those,” Chambley said.

The CCSD is also planning to have a full graduation ceremony. Valley will graduate on May 24, while LaFayette will graduate on May 25.

“We’re going to work it the best we can,” Chambley said. “We may have to use both sides of the stadiums and do some different things to where we set it up a different way maybe, but right now, we’re planning to have a full graduation and allow the kids to graduate with each other. We’re very happy about that.”

One big area that helped the CCSD a lot was the Center for Disease Control’s announcement in mid-March that dropped the social distancing requirement from six feet to three feet, as most classrooms in the CCSD are not equipped to distance students six feet apart and have a full class.

“It was very difficult for us, almost impossible to give six feet of distance with the buildings the way they are,” Chambley said. “It was not a mandate, but it was to try to socially distance as much as you could. The teachers did that,. It’s a big deal to go from the six feet to three [feet of social distance].”