HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – After our newsroom received reports of a teacher testing positive for COVID-19 at Whitesburg Elementary School, News 19 reached out to Huntsville City Schools for confirmation.
District spokesman Craig Williams told News 19 two positive cases have been confirmed on the Whitesburg campus.
But the Huntsville City Schools COVID-19 dashboard was not updated to reflect that until after our questioning Wednesday morning.
Williams said the human element of updating the data is to blame.
He said there is no set schedule for updating the chart, but the system tries to include new numbers as they are reported.
There was also a report that a Whitesburg staff member was chastised for sharing a positive test result with coworkers.
While HCS didn’t confirm that, the district did said it is well within a staff member’s rights to disclose his or her own medical information to coworkers for their health and safety.
However the school system asks that anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 first report the information to the health services department with the school district.
As far as students and their parents are concerned, if students become exposed to the virus by someone in their classroom, parents should expect a personalized phone call from the district notifying them.
Williams also explained each school’s principal should send out a notification to families in the event of a positive case on campus.
Many of the individuals who reach out to news 19 about COVID-19 in schools don’t want to identify themselves out of fear of retaliation.
Wednesday News 19 was also made aware that the Huntsville area education union representative is no longer with the Alabama Education Association.
Many members of that union depend on the organization to feel heard when it comes to COVID-19 in schools.
The AEA said it is working to find a temporary point of contact for its Huntsville area members.