GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — The Omicron variant has forced just about every school district in north Alabama to go either virtual or mask-required as of January 21. Guntersville City Schools is an exception.

The district’s front office confirmed to News 19 students are still attending classes in person and masking remains ‘optional’.

The Alabama Department of Public Health’s K-12 COVID-19 Dashboard shows rising infection numbers throughout the area in Friday’s update, and the state as a whole now up 10,000 COVID-19 cases in one week.

As of Friday morning, there were 124 confirmed cases district-wide, each Guntersville school’s absence rate hovers around ten percent. Guntersville Elementary School has the highest: absence rate of 13.4%. This includes 17 student cases, 6 in staff, and an additional 42 students quarantined. Guntersville High School has an absence rate of 10.4%: 25 students and 3 staff tested positive, with another 33 students in quarantine.

News 19 reached out to district officials for an interview but did not get a response.