Effective Monday, October 4th, Eufaula City Schools will no longer require, but will still recommend, the wearing of masks in school buildings. We will continue to require masks while on school buses.
As recommendations from local and state health officials change and COVID-19 data changes, we may adjust protocols accordingly. We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 data and will use the number of positive cases and exposures as a guide to determine if masks are required or recommended at each individual school, with goals of no more than 2% positivity and 10% exposure rates.
Thank you, students, staff members and families for your continued support. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s school nurse or principal if they have questions.
Mask Update 9/17/2021
Plans were after September 20th to recommend masks rather than require them in our school buildings. Our plans were to use the number of positive cases and exposures as a guide to determine if masks were required or recommended at each individual school, with goals of no more than 2% positivity and 10% exposure rates. In most schools each week this school year, we have improved to meet these numbers; however, due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases for Barbour County and surrounding counties, I feel it is in the best interest of safety for students and staff members to continue requiring masks. This mask requirement will be reevaluated, and an update will be sent by October 1.
While I feel the numbers will eventually fall, this continuing strong presence of COVID-19 in our community disturbs me. We meet frequently to evaluate COVID-19 data and the impact on our students and staff members. We have considered how difficult it would be to close school for two weeks like some systems near us have had to do. As much as I do not like requiring masks, I am convinced we are doing the right thing. My goal is to make sure we can safely keep schools open with healthy students and staff members.
As I stated above, our numbers have improved, especially our exposure rates, and this is in large part due to requiring masks. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, in the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were 3 feet or more from an infected student if both students were engaged in the consistent and correct use of well-fitted masks. If masks are not worn by both individuals, anyone within 6 feet of a positively tested individual is asked to isolate.
We follow the most current recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Department of Education. We appreciate your help in keeping our students and employees safe by notifying the school nurse immediately if your child tests positive for COVID-19.
Eufaula City Schools is layering various prevention strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, and cleaning and disinfecting. Additionally, we recommend vaccination for anyone aged twelve and above. If you have not been vaccinated, please take advantage of the free community vaccine clinic taking place tomorrow at Eufaula High School from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
As always, we appreciate your patience as we work to prepare and educate the young people of Eufaula. Thank you for trusting Eufaula City Schools with your children.
ECS COVID-19 Data as of 8/25/2021 (Note mistake made in the total number of EPS students. Number has been corrected in the 9/3 Data.)