February 26, 2021: Data Update on COVID-19 & Our Schools
February 26, 2021
From the Office of the Superintendent
To Our TCSS Families, Faculty, Staff, and Community,
As we first shared at the start of the school year, the Tuscaloosa County School System is compiling data regarding COVID-19 and its impact on our schools. Although there are many aspects of student, employee, and health-related information we are unable to share publicly, due to the need to protect the privacy of individuals, there is information we can and want to share with you. This is a way to keep our community informed of the current COVID-19 situation within our schools. If a student or faculty/staff member is identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case within the school, they will be contacted directly by their school.
The information below reflects cases from February 12 - 26, 2021. This information is compiled by our TCSS Department of Health Services, working in conjunction with administration at local schools. Scroll to the bottom of this page for all previous updates.
We are aware of 37 TCSS students or employees who tested positive for COVID-19 during the February 12 through February 26 time period. TCSS has approximately 19,000 students, enrolled across 34 schools, with 2,275 faculty/staff members. Our most recent data showed approximately 85 percent of our students as on-campus learners. Based on this figure, the 37 positive COVID-19 cases represent 0.2 percent of our current on-campus student and employee population.
During this time period, a total of 355 students or employees have had to quarantine, due to possible COVID-19 exposure. This is approximately 1.9 percent of our current on-campus student and employee population. TCSS identified these individuals following Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines. They were not identified because they displayed COVID-19 symptoms, but because they were determined to be close contacts of positive cases within our schools.
Of the 37 positive cases, all schools had 5 or fewer confirmed positive cases. Below is a further breakdown:
Three to five confirmed positive cases: 3 schools
One or two confirmed positive cases: 19 schools
Zero confirmed positive cases: 12 schools
At this time, we do not have a total number of faculty/staff who have quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure since the start of school. However, the total numbers of positive COVID-19 cases and individuals who have had to quarantine during this time period include faculty and staff members. COVID-related absences, on top of the other typical reasons for employee absences, create a greater need for substitutes. We encourage anyone who is available and wants to support our schools to consider becoming a substitute teacher, substitute nurse, or filling another role as a substitute in our schools. Effective March 1, a temporary pay increase takes effect for substitute teachers and LPN substitutes. Information on becoming a substitute is available on the front page of our TCSS web site.
We ask our entire TCSS community to continue working to fight the spread of COVID-19. We are thankful for the hard work of so many that allows us to continue serving our students and families.