State superintendent says COVID-19 cases have dropped ‘dramatically’

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 10:17 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2021 at 10:25 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - State Superintendent Eric Mackey says that while COVID-19 cases remain a concern, student cases across the state are going down.

“Right now, the rates are very low across the whole state. Way under 1% of students, faculty and staff showing positive COVID tests,” said Mackey.

“We certainly think the numbers are going to continue to improve. They have improved a great deal. I mean in August we had over 9,000 positive cases in one week. Now we’re under 500 and the numbers continue to drop pretty dramatically every week,” he said.

The superintendent said while student case numbers are under control across the state, they are continuing to monitor for any outbreaks. He said classroom decisions will be decided by those schools if such an event occurs.

Mackey said this does not mean COVID-19 cases won’t rise again. He acknowledged that there will continue to be COVID-19 cases in schools and hopes to keep those numbers as small as possible.

As far as children’s vaccinations, he encourages parents to consult their pediatricians or health care providers to make those decisions.

Mackey said the flu is now a bigger concern than COVID-19, saying they’re now seeing many more flu cases than COVID-19. He said public health officials are more worried about this year’s flu season, particularly since there have been many early cases this year.

“We’ve got so many cases so early in the year, right now we’re really more concerned about flu outbreaks than COVID outbreaks,” he said.

He hopes to avoid closing schools for either flu or COVID-19 outbreaks, as this has happened for both diseases.

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