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North Alabama parents concerned with new coronavirus guidelines in schools

"When you lower the standards, the cases are going to go right back up. It happens every single time.”

Posted: Oct 9, 2020 6:30 PM
Updated: Oct 9, 2020 10:30 PM

On Thursday, the Alabama Department of Public Health changed its coronavirus guidelines in schools. Students and faculty only have to quarantine if they're exposed to someone who recently lost their sense of taste or smell. Previously, they would be sent home for close contact with anyone with a new cough, difficulty breathing or loss of taste or smell.

The state says the changes will keep more students and staff in the classroom. Most of the parents WAAY 31's Grace Campbell said they were surprised to hear about changes to the guidelines. 

“I was confused on why in the world this wasn’t taken as seriously as it should have been and why they closed schools in March when we had like 1,000 cases in the whole United States versus now we’re not even going to quarantine you but we have 10 cases in the school," said Morgan County parent, Kera Vest.

Vest has two kids in the traditional school setting at Austinville Elementary. She said she's thinking about switching them to virtual schooling because of the new guidelines.

“This whole close contact doesn’t get quarantined type situation, like how close do you have to be in order to say this is, your health is at risk we should quarantine you," said Vest.

The only major symptom that requires close contacts to be sent home is a new loss of taste or smell, but one mom said she's worried her young daughter may not realize they have that symptom.

“My 5-year-old is not going to understand I don’t have my taste or my smell," said Nichole Hache. "She doesn’t understand half the time when she’s sick."

Deborah Brasher's children are learning virtually. She would rather see strict precautions until the situation is under control.

“It feels like they’re just like, ‘okay, the cases are going down’ okay when you lower the standards, the cases are going to go right back up. It happens every single time," said Brasher.

Vest agrees.

“In two years I would like to look back and say, ‘that was a rough year,’ versus, ‘I cannot believe this is still going on,'" said Vest.

Anyone experiencing one of the three major symptoms will still be sent home. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health will publish the new COVID-19 toolkit on Tuesday.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 345916

Reported Deaths: 4372
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby45850645
Davidson40834409
Knox17686142
Rutherford16918153
Hamilton15944139
Williamson1068176
Sumner9163134
Wilson705076
Out of TN692847
Montgomery623582
Sullivan612491
Putnam573779
Washington5609101
Maury556661
Blount518055
Madison5112107
Unassigned493018
Bradley484533
Sevier469131
Robertson357751
Tipton349138
Hamblen332258
Dyer309349
Gibson302663
Greene287871
Anderson274427
Dickson274232
Coffee263941
Bedford256428
Carter255053
Obion252849
Lawrence251532
Cumberland243535
McMinn234755
Warren227118
Hardeman220937
Roane220626
Loudon218518
Jefferson216431
Fayette214838
Weakley208035
Lauderdale200322
Monroe200042
Franklin194232
Trousdale189712
Hawkins182334
Wayne181210
Henderson178532
Macon177027
Hardin172625
White167418
Marshall165818
Carroll164434
Haywood159530
Rhea156730
Cocke155528
Overton150834
Cheatham149416
Campbell148322
Lincoln147113
Henry145017
Smith138419
Johnson137621
McNairy137533
Giles136044
Fentress117120
Lake11525
Bledsoe11395
Hickman112017
Crockett111025
DeKalb109121
Marion104017
Chester99419
Scott9667
Grainger92915
Decatur91613
Unicoi79125
Benton76415
Claiborne7539
Grundy74214
Lewis71914
Cannon7133
Union6945
Morgan6796
Jackson66410
Humphreys6617
Polk63714
Houston57620
Stewart56914
Clay52818
Sequatchie5015
Meigs46112
Perry46120
Moore3702
Pickett36713
Van Buren3422
Hancock1473

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