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MCS says 150 students quarantined at Discovery, no change in school schedules

MADISON – Madison City Schools said today about 150 students at Discovery Middle School have been quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure on Monday.

“We had a situation where a couple of positive exposures affected a large number of students at Discovery Middle School,” MCS superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said. “Approximately 150 DMS students were sent home to quarantine as required by Madison City Schools protocols following ADPH guidelines. Most of these quarantines were the result of two separate athletic teams being exposed to a positive case. Also, among the COVID-19 positive students attributing to the quarantined numbers were DMS students who attended a non-school gathering with other DMS students.”

Nichols stated the quarantines will not affect any school schedules. “While we did have an increase in isolated COVID-19 cases at Discovery, I do not see it as a pattern,” he said.

“As I made known earlier in the year, when the school system returned to school-based learning for all students, the ability to complete social distancing under the Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines of more than six feet would not be possible in every classroom situation. Therefore, the number of students that could be quarantined would be more prevalent,” Nichols added. “Positive tests in our district still remain less than 1% of our staff and student population. Furthermore, the current positive test percentage in our county has dropped from 22.5% to 14.8% in the past few weeks. The data we are receiving daily shows this reduction in positivity rate continuing to decline in our area. Also, our county has been moved from High Risk to Low Risk on the ADPH dashboard.”

Nichols also urged parents to encourage their children to smart decisions when socializing away from school. “Most of the positive interactions we have dealt with have not occurred inside our schools. Your assistance to have students remain vigilant concerning social distancing away from school will certainly help to keep our school schedule open for face-to-face instruction,” he said. “Additionally, if your student feels ill in any way, please keep them home for observation. We can work with you as it relates to their absences. Many of our positive cases have started as simple symptoms of sinus or a cold and then quickly changed to more individual symptoms of COVID-19. These few days of observation will help us mitigate many of our quarantines.”

“Please know that I understand the anxiety all of us have felt and are feeling during this pandemic,” Nichols said. “As a parent of a student that is attending school-based learning each day and as a husband whose wife works in the health care industry, I know all of us will be glad to see this journey end as soon as possible.”

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