Madison County Schools parent speaks out about contact tracing issues

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – As COVID-19 cases in school systems rise, many schools are doing what they can to keep up.

The Madison County School system started with masks being optional, but on August 13th, switched to being required, at least until September 3rd, effectively moving schools from Level 0 to Level 1 of the system’s COVID-19 safety plan, ‘Ready, Set, Forward.’

The district also just Wednesday re-launched its COVID-19 dashboard, showing that more than 500 students and staff members across the school system have tested positive for COVID-19.

News 19 spoke with multiple parents both on and off camera and saw multiple posts online from parents, claiming issues with how different schools in the system notify parents of COVID-19 exposure.

Some say they received letters days after their child’s exposure, while others say they were left to find out for themselves.

“My son has been exposed to COVID a couple of times. I’m not finding out until I’m seeing it on a mom group, NextDoor, a parent’s calling me, and I just feel like the school needs to be reaching out to us to let us know,” parent Audrey Harrington said.

Tim Hall, Director of Public Relations for Madison County Schools said, “If Parents are not receiving information from us it’s possible we have not received their proper phones numbers, emails, or necessary contact information. Please reach out to your local school and update that information.  We want to effectively communicate with all our parents.”

Harrington says she has checked with the school system to ensure the contact information they have is correct.

Right now, School Board President Dave Weis says the current quarantine period for those who have come in close contact with a COVID-positive child is 10 to 14 days.

Because the school system doesn’t have a temporary virtual option, students that quarantine would have to take home any assignments and schoolwork.

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