CDC updates coronavirus close contact guidelines; 2 North Alabama school districts stay the same

'It’s life. You cannot lock yourself away. We’ve done that. We’ve got to get out and live in this world.'

Posted: Oct 23, 2020 4:43 PM
Updated: Oct 23, 2020 5:50 PM

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidelines on what's considered a "close contact," two North Alabama school districts told WAAY 31 it doesn't change their plans.

Now, close contact with a potential coronavirus case includes brief encounters that add up to 15 minutes instead of 15 consecutive minutes of exposure.

Lead nurses from the Morgan and Madison County school districts said the safety protocols they have in place still meet the updated CDC guidelines. Families said they're still comfortable sending their kids to class.

“It’s just now a way of their life to put on their mask," said Alicia Hinshaw. "I don’t even have to tell my six-year-old daughter to put her mask on anymore, she already knows.”

Hinshaw has a daughter in first grade at Mt. Carmel Elementary in Madison County. She said coronavirus precautions are normal for her family now and said the updated close contact guidelines won't change their routine.

Rebecca Pennington's grandson is a sophomore at New Century Technical High School in Huntsville. She said her grandson is worried about exposing her to the virus, so she makes sure they both follow the basics of prevention.

“Even as a 16-year-old and going through what he is, he doesn’t need extra at this time in his life and so I'm positive about it and I say ‘it’s going to be fine, go to school, use your hand sanitizer, wear your mask,'" said Pennington.

She said she is a little concerned with Huntsville City Schools going back to class five days a week, but said there's always going to be something to worry about.

“It’s life, you cannot lock yourself away, we’ve done that. We’ve got to get out and live in this world and if I get it, I hope I take well enough care of myself that I will get through it," said Pennington.

The Alabama Department of Public Health updated its school guidelines last week. They haven't made any changes since the CDC announced its updates about what counts as a close contact.

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