This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — After initially only planning for remote learning on Thursday, January 14, Lauderdale County Schools announced on Monday they would remain virtual through Friday, January 21.

Public Relations Manager Whitney Coates said that the school system was facing a shortage of available workers. The amount of staff infected with COVID-19 and other illnesses left them unable to function at full force.

“We can’t do a lot of things if we don’t have the proper staff in place to do that,” Coates said, “and that’s the problem we’re facing right now.”

Lauderdale County Schools were expected to return to in-person learning on January 18 after celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Now, the school system will not return until Monday, January 24.

Coates says, “We’re doing everything we can to stay in school as long as we can… If we’re not able to do that with a full staff, we’ll take the measures that we need to.”

There are no immediate plans to go back to virtual learning, but Coates says it is always an option if they are facing similar challenges in the future.