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: 498076

Reported Deaths: 10094
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson716711387
Mobile36294737
Madison32616468
Tuscaloosa24340421
Montgomery22739519
Shelby22174218
Baldwin19873289
Lee15039157
Calhoun13832293
Morgan13753254
Etowah13390325
Marshall11448211
Houston10124264
Elmore9483190
Limestone9420138
St. Clair9022227
Cullman8984182
Lauderdale8612214
DeKalb8489175
Talladega7606165
Walker6585259
Jackson6545104
Autauga632492
Blount6236127
Colbert6001121
Coffee5264103
Dale4671107
Russell406933
Franklin399878
Covington3993106
Chilton3898103
Escambia379173
Tallapoosa3622143
Clarke344053
Chambers3431111
Dallas3422142
Pike293373
Marion288695
Lawrence284985
Winston258368
Bibb246160
Geneva240370
Marengo238857
Pickens225457
Barbour213651
Hale212269
Fayette202057
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178039
Monroe166739
Randolph164840
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146255
Clay145954
Cleburne139841
Lamar133733
Lowndes132751
Wilcox122925
Bullock117336
Conecuh107024
Perry106127
Sumter99732
Coosa90224
Greene88532
Choctaw55323
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 779449

Reported Deaths: 11501
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby876181509
Davidson81809871
Knox46250587
Hamilton40539463
Rutherford38563386
Williamson25382204
Sumner21448318
Montgomery17484213
Out of TN1706694
Wilson16510211
Unassigned15772127
Sullivan14431274
Blount14141183
Bradley12996141
Washington12818234
Maury12246163
Sevier12109164
Putnam10635170
Madison10123230
Robertson8997121
Hamblen8063165
Anderson8044158
Greene7309145
Tipton6962103
Coffee6418115
Dickson6256106
Gibson6196141
Cumberland6127122
Carter5990155
McMinn594592
Roane592696
Bedford5816120
Loudon571966
Jefferson5688119
Lawrence557483
Monroe536590
Warren532576
Hawkins527195
Dyer5242101
Franklin475785
Fayette468372
Obion436995
Lincoln415662
Rhea415273
Cocke401295
Cheatham394544
Marshall391956
Campbell381859
Weakley379359
Giles375297
Henderson362273
Carroll349181
White339366
Hardeman338864
Macon337273
Hardin331563
Lauderdale309642
Henry301275
Marion294744
Scott288144
Wayne287630
Overton285557
Claiborne283069
McNairy268353
Hickman266541
DeKalb266151
Haywood264960
Smith256936
Grainger244246
Trousdale239822
Morgan230338
Fentress229544
Johnson217138
Chester202348
Bledsoe201010
Crockett197547
Unicoi181447
Polk177722
Cannon176730
Union173033
Grundy169730
Lake167926
Sequatchie157327
Humphreys154921
Decatur153837
Benton151039
Lewis147425
Meigs126722
Jackson125634
Stewart124025
Clay107130
Houston103632
Perry103527
Moore94516
Van Buren79720
Pickett74623
Hancock49712

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