Decatur officials talk about start of school, need for helping prevent COVID-19 spread


DECATUR, Ala. – As students prepare to return to school in Decatur next week, officials said they believe everything is ready for kids to get back in the classroom there.

Decatur City Schools Superintendent Michael Douglas said in a Monday morning news conference with city and health officials that teachers will get started Wednesday. Students return Aug. 12, and Douglas said numbers in Morgan County indicate they will not have to go to a virtual model to start the year.

“We appreciate the community’s help in wearing masks and helping keep the whole county’s level down, because that certainly impacts us,” Douglas said. “So please do your part.”

Alabama Department of Public Health Administrator for the Northern District Judy Smith said she believes schools in the city are safe for students.

“Quite honestly I’m not sure they’re not a safer environment than most of the environments we have in the community,” Smith said. “I can promise you they’re safer than Walmart.”

But Smith said while numbers have leveled off some in the county, the healthcare system is still feeling the strain of having high numbers at a time when staff is also dealing with COVID-19. She stressed the need for people to continue the basics of masking, distancing from others and sanitizing.

Smith asked that everyone do their part to prevent the spread of the disease, saying everyone may not be on the same page when it comes to prevention, but everyone will feel the consequences of not helping prevent the spread.

“You may not be able to control what other people do, but you certainly can control what you do,” Smith said.