Largest Alabama school district switches to virtual learning

The superintendent for Alabama’s largest school district said in a letter to the community that schools would be transitioning to virtual learning given the rising number of COVID-19 infections amid the omicron surge.

Chresal Threadgill, superintendent of Mobile County Public School System, said in his message that schools would move to virtual learning next week to allow for those who tested positive to recover, reported Fox10News, which obtained a copy of the letter.

“The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly in Mobile County. I have been closely monitoring the number of positive COVID cases and isolations in each individual school and throughout the district as a whole daily,” Threadgill reportedly said. “Our number of cases has increased, making it difficult to staff many of our schools.”

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The superintendent said that students would be slated to return to in-person learning on Jan. 24 but that officials would be monitoring infections “and allow the numbers to inform further decisions being made within the district.”

In the meantime, Threadgill said, students would be working on assignments on their own time that can be completed online, saying no “live” lessons would be conducted next week, Fox10News reported.

Alabama, in addition to much of the United States, is grappling with a surge of COVID-19 cases amid the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant. The state saw over 10,000 cases on Wednesday and 12,000 the day before, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 63 percent of Alabama residents five years and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while over 51 percent are fully vaccinated. About 32 percent of residents aged 18 years and older have received their booster dose. 

The Hill has reached out to the school district for comment.