Alabama Updates, Notices, and News

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To assist our schools and others with keeping up to date with the most current and relevant information to Alabama, the team here at nSide will use this page to provide curated content. If you know of information that should be posted here, please email it to resources@nside.io.

Governor Ivey Issues Fourth Supplemental State of Emergency: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

RELEASED: MARCH 26, 2020

Alternative Methods of Instruction for the 2019/2020 School Year

Beginning at the start of school on April 6, 2020, all public K-12 schools shall implement a plan to complete the 2019-2020 school year using alternate methods of instruction as established by the State Superintendent of Education. Local school districts shall make staffing decisions and determinations related to access to school buildings in accordance with all applicable public health orders and the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Governor Kay Ivey – Fourth Supplemental State of Emergency: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Thursday, March 26, 2020 Governor Kay Ivey closes schools for teh rest of the year

Governor Ivey Issues Amended Statewide Social Distancing SHO Order

Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) on Friday, March 27, 2020 issued an Amended Statewide Social Distancing SHO Order in Alabama’s efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Friday, March 27, 2020 Governor Kay Ivey Issues An Amended Statewide Social Distancing SHO Order

Source: Governor Ivey Issues Amended Statewide Social Distancing SHO Order – Office of the Governor of Alabama. (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2020, from https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/03/Amended-Statewide-Social-Distancing-SHO-Order-3.27.2020-FINAL.pdf

Amended Statewide Social Distancing SHO Order

  1. Effective March 28, 2020 at 5:00 P.M., all non-work related gatherings of 10 persons or more, or non-work related gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons, are prohibited. Employers shall take all reasonable steps to meet these standards for employees and customers.
  2. Effective March 28, 2020 at 5:00 P.M., the following “non-essential” businesses, venues, and activities shall be closed to non-employees or not take place:
    1. Entertainment venues as follows:
      1. Night clubs
      2. Bowling alleys
      3. Arcades
      4. Concert venues
      5. Theaters, auditoriums, and performing arts centers
      6. Tourist attractions (including museums and planetariums)
      7. Racetracks
      8. Indoor children’s play areas
      9. Adult entertainment venues
      10. Casinos
      11. Bingo halls
      12. Venues operated by social clubs
    2. Athletic facilities and activities as follows:
      1. Fitness centers and commercial gyms
      2. Spas and public or commercial swimming pools
      3. Yoga, barre, and spin facilities
      4. Spectator sports
      5. Sports that involve interaction with another person of closer than 6 feet
      6. Activities that require use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment
      7. Activities on commercial or public playground equipment
    3. Close-contact service providers as follows:
      1. Barber shops
      2. Hair salons
      3. Waxing salons
      4. Threading salons
      5. Nail salons and spas
      6. Body-art facilities and tattoo services
      7. Tanning salons
      8. Massage-therapy establishments and massage services
    4. Retail stores as follows:
      1. Furniture and home-furnishings stores
      2. Clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores
      3. Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores
      4. Department stores
      5. Sporting goods stores
      6. Book, craft, and music stores
  3. Effective March 19, 2020, at 5:00 P.M., all beaches shall be closed. For purposes of this section, the term “beach” means the sandy shoreline area abutting the Gulf of Mexico, whether privately or publicly owned, including beach access points.
  4. Effective Friday, March 20, 2020, all regular programs at Senior Citizen Centers shall be ended except that Senior Citizen Centers and their partners are urged to assure that their clients continue to receive needed meals via curbside pick-up or delivery.
  5. Effective today, the following shall be closed:
    • In-person instruction or classes at all schools, public and private, including but not limited to: elementary, secondary, postsecondary, technical, or specialty schools, and colleges and universities.
      1. This order is not intended to prevent any employers from making continued necessary staffing decisions. Employers are authorized to advise employees to work from home or maintain flexible work schedules. If working from home is not feasible, the employee should practice social distancing (by maintaining consistent six-foot distance between persons) and follow public health guidelines.
      2. This order shall not apply to daytime special activities programs provided by local boards of education for children, ages 6 through 12 as of March 13, 2020, of First Responders (including EMS and Fire Services) and Licensed Healthcare Providers, and their essential employees, and essential employees of the following categories of employers: State and Local Governments, Law Enforcement, Hospitals, Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities), End Stage Renal Disease Treatment Centers, Pharmacies, and Grocery Stores. In these special activities programs, 12 or more children shall not be allowed in any one room at the same time, and operators of these programs are encouraged to use enhanced sanitation practices consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health.
    • Facilities providing child day care, including any child day care facility described in Ala. Code § 38-7-2, at which 12 or more children are in a room or other enclosed or separated space at the same time. Center employees are encouraged to use enhanced sanitation and social distancing practices consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health. This Order does not change the Minimum Standards for Day Care promulgated by the Alabama Department of Human Resources, except that 12 or more children shall not be allowed in a room or other enclosed or separated space at the same time.
  6. Effective immediately, all Hospitals and Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities) shall prohibit visitation of all visitors, as defined by the facility, and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations such as maternity and end-of-life.
  7. Effective March 28, 2020 at 5:00 P.M., all dental, medical, or surgical procedures shall be postponed until further notice, subject to the following exceptions:
    • Dental, medical, or surgical procedures necessary to treat an emergency medical condition. For purposes of this order, “emergency medical condition” is defined as a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain, psychiatric disturbances, and/or symptoms of substance abuse) such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected by a person’s licensed medical provider to result in placing the health of the person in serious jeopardy or causing serious impairment to bodily functions or serious dysfunction of bodily organs.
    • Dental, medical, or surgical procedures necessary to avoid serious harm from an underlying condition or disease, or necessary as part of a patient’s ongoing and active treatment.
  8. Effective March 19, 2020, at 5:00 P.M., all restaurants, bars, breweries, or similar establishments shall not permit on-premises consumption of food or drink.
    • Such establishments may continue to offer food for take-out or delivery provided the social distancing protocols, including maintaining a consistent six-foot distance between persons, are followed.
    • Such establishments are strongly encouraged to offer online ordering and curbside pick-up of food.
    • Hospital food service areas are excluded from this order provided they have their own social distancing plan.
  9. If organizers or sponsors of otherwise suspended events desire, they may submit a request for an exemption from this order. While the State Health Officer is under no obligation to grant such an exemption, it shall be fairly considered based on the following criteria:
    • Effective measures have been taken to identify those attending the event who may potentially be affected with COVID-19, including but not limited to personal testing for the disease or submission of current medical clearances to the organizer.
    • Effective measures have been taken to prevent the spread of infection even by those that are infected while not symptomatic, including the provision of anti-infection measures such as proper face masks, personal sanitation measures, and other measures that may be considered proper.

The State Health Officer’s discretion under this section includes the discretion to refer exemption requests from Jefferson and Mobile Counties to the respective County Health Officer for those counties for evaluation as described above.

  1. This Order shall remain in full force and effect until 5:00 P.M. on April 17, 2020. Prior to 5:00 P.M. on April 17, 2020, a determination shall be made whether to extend this Order—or, if circumstances permit, to relax this Order.
  2. This Order supersedes and preempts all orders previously issued by the State Health Officer and Jefferson and Mobile County Health Officers concerning COVID-19 mitigation measures. After the date this amended order is issued, the Jefferson and Mobile County Health Officers are authorized, after approval by the State Health Officer, to implement more stringent measures as local circumstances require.
Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE)

SOURCE: https://www.alsde.edu/covid-19

The resources below are a timeline of ALSDE communications to help understand the school’s role during a closure and our commitments to Alabama’s students.

The best place to find accurate, up-to-date information is the State Department of Health’s website. The Department of Health has also established a call center to address questions from the public about COVID-19. If you have questions about symptoms or exposure, please call 1-800-338-8374.

In an effort to maintain ongoing communication efforts during this time when “social distancing” is critical, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has developed COVID-19 email addresses for parents and school employees.  As new developments occur, we hope this method can be used to submit your COVID-19 related questions.  ALSDE staff will be continuously monitoring submissions and will provide responses in a timely manner.  We will continue to work through this together to support “Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day”. 

If you are a parent and have a COVID-19 related question, click COVID19PARENTS@ALSDE.EDU

If you are a school employee and have a COVID-19 related question, click COVID19SCHOOLS@ALSDE.EDU

  1. Memo from Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer (FY20-2054)
  2. Dr. Mackey’s Update to Local Superintendents (March 6, 2020)
  3. News conference link
  4. Dr. Mackey’s Update to Local Superintendents (March 10, 2020)
  5. Dr. Mackey’s Second Update to Local Superintendents (March 10, 2020)
  6. Dr. Mackey’s Update to Superintendents (March 11, 2020)
  7. Coronavirus Parent Guide
  8. Coronavirus Parent Guide – Español
  9. Coronavirus LEA Guide (revised March 13, 2020)
  10. Coronavirus LEA Guide (revised March 13, 2020 – Español)
  11. Dr. Mackey’s Update to local Superintendents (March 13, 2020)
  12. Dr. Mackey’s Second Update to Local Superintendents (March 13, 2020)
  13. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  14. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs – Español)
  15. School Closure Updates and Technical Guidance (March 20, 2020)
  16. Corona Virus State Government Operations
  17. COVID-19 Q&As (March 15, 2020)
  18. Child Nutrition Program (CNP) Meal Service Guidance During COVID-19 (FY20-1006)
  19. Dr. Mackey’s Update to Superintendents (March 16, 2020)
  20. Free Meals During Short-Term School Closure
  21. Alabama State Health Officer Statewide Social Distancing Order (March 19, 2020)
  22. Guidance for AMSTI Kits During School Closures
  23. Dr. Mackey’s Update to Local Superintendents (March 26, 2020)
  24. ALSDE 2019-2020 LEA Academic Continuity Plan
  25. Academic & Technical Guidance for Emergency End-of-Year School Closures Manual FINAL (Updated March 30, 2020)
  26. FAQs from Local Superintendents Part A
  27. FAQs from Local Superintendents Part B (Updated March 30, 2020)
  28. Governor’s Executive Order on the Remainder of the School Year
  29. Amended Statewide Social Distancing Order (March 27, 2020)
  30. Memo- Parent/Guardian Pick Up Meals Waiver
  31. Memo-CNP Meal Pattern Flexibility Waiver
  32. Memo- Teacher Prep Program Temporary Flexibilities
  33. Special Education Services (SES) COVID-19 Q&A
  34. Dr. Mackey’s Update to Local Superintendents (March 30, 2020)
  35. Memo-CNP Non-Area Eligible Sites
  36. Special Education Services (SES) COVID-19 Q&A (April 1, 2020)
  37. Dr. Mackey’s Update to Local Superintendents (April 2, 2020)
  38. Dr. Mackey’s Update to Local Superintendents (April 3, 2020) – including Public Health Order
  39. Dr. Mackey’s Second Update to Local Superintendents (April 3, 2020)
Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE): FAQs

SOURCE: https://www.alsde.edu/COVID19%20Updates/CoronavirusFAQs.jpg

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are ALL Alabama public schools closing?
Yes. All Alabama public schools, kindergarten through 12th grade, will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. After afterschool programs, events, and activities are cancelled during this time.

When exactly will schools close and for how long?
Alabama public schools will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, with the expectation to reopen on Monday, April 6, 2020. However, the safety and wellbeing of Alabama students and their families are our primary concern. The reopening of public schools will be considered with consultation from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Will students have an unexcused absence for missing school from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18?
Students who miss school Monday, March 16, 2020 through Wednesday, March 18, 2020 will not be marked as “unexcused”; however, their absence will count on the school’s accountability (Report Card).

Does the state’s closure of schools include daycare facilities?
Alabama daycare facilities do not operate under the authority of the Alabama State Department of Education. Daycare centers must independently decide the best course of action for their clientele.

Does the state’s closure of schools include private schools?
Private schools in Alabama do not operate under the authority of the Alabama State Department of Education. Although private schools sometimes look to the Department of Education for guidance, they are ultimately independent in their decision for school governance.

What should a school/system do if they believe they have a case of COVID-19?
Districts should continue to notify the Alabama Department of Public Health and the State Superintendent of any known employee, student, or family member COVID-19 cases in their districts.

Once schools reopen, will they be allowed to take field trips in state? What about out of state?
Once schools reopen, the situation will be assessed. This is a fluid state of affairs and guidance will change as necessary or as recommended by state health officials. For now, all field trips, conferences, and mass gatherings are considered canceled through April 30, 2020.

Should any school staff or central office staff report to work during this time?
Districts will determine for themselves which essential staff are necessary to meet the demands of their schools. Teachers, administrators, and staff are not “off” during this period, but due to health and safety concerns, local superintendents will determine work-from-home schedules, etc. if needed.

Will employees be charged annual leave during the time schools are closed?
Employees will continue to be paid and will not be charged annual leave for time off during this school closure. As noted above, work situations are to be determined by local superintendents.

Will schools continue to provide food services to schools during the time schools are closed?
With appropriate social distancing measures, some districts may continue to provide meals or other essential services with applicable staff. School systems will independently make this determination for themselves. In addition, we are asking local superintendents to coordinate with churches, food banks, and community resources to make sure that all children have adequate nutrition during this school closure.

Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)

SOURCE: http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html

Situation Summary

In December 2019, a new (or novel) human coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) type emerged in China. At this time, it’s unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath appearing anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure. Learn more about coronaviruses, how they present, and how they are tested by visiting Human Coronaviruses.

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the CDC are providing updated information and guidance as it becomes available.

School Districts

AS OF: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 12:04 PM

SOURCE: Crain, T. P. (2020). Most Alabama schools closed, some remain open Tuesday. AL.Com. https://www.al.com/news/2020/03/some-alabama-school-systems-will-close-three-days-earlier-than-planned.html

Open Tuesday, closed Wednesday:

  • Baldwin County
  • Chickasaw City
  • Eufaula City
  • Mobile County
  • Pike County

Open Tuesday, early dismissal Wednesday:

  • Butler County

Currently closed through at least April 6:

  • Alabaster City
  • Albertville City
  • Alexander City
  • Anniston City
  • Arab City
  • Athens City
  • Attalla City
  • Auburn City
  • Autauga County
  • Barbour County
  • Bessemer City
  • Bibb County
  • Birmingham City
  • Blount County
  • Boaz City
  • Brewton City
  • Bullock County
  • Calhoun County
  • Cherokee County
  • Chilton County
  • Clarke County
  • Clay County
  • Cleburne County
  • Colbert County
  • Conecuh County
  • Coosa County
  • Cullman City
  • Cullman County
  • Daleville City
  • Dallas County
  • Decatur City
  • DeKalb County
  • Demopolis City
  • Dothan City
  • Elmore County
  • Escambia County
  • Etowah County
  • Fairfield City
  • Fayette County
  • Florence City
  • Fort Payne City
  • Franklin County
  • Gadsden City
  • Geneva City
  • Greene County
  • Guntersville City
  • Hale County
  • Haleyville City
  • Hartselle City
  • Henry County
  • Homewood City
  • Hoover City
  • Houston County
  • Huntsville City
  • Jackson County
  • Jacksonville City
  • Jasper City
  • Jefferson County
  • Lamar County
  • Lanett City
  • Lauderdale County
  • Lawrence County
  • Lee County
  • Leeds City
  • Limestone County
  • Linden City
  • Lowndes County
  • Macon County
  • Madison City
  • Madison County
  • Marengo County
  • Marion County
  • Marshall County
  • Midfield City
  • Monroe County
  • Montgomery County
  • Morgan County
  • Mountain Brook City
  • Muscle Shoals City
  • Oneonta City
  • Opelika City
  • Oxford City
  • Pelham City
  • Pell City
  • Perry County
  • Phenix City
  • Pickens County
  • Piedmont City
  • Pike Road City
  • Randolph County
  • Roanoke City
  • Russell County
  • Russellville City
  • Saraland City
  • Satsuma City
  • Scottsboro City
  • Selma City
  • Sheffield City
  • Shelby County
  • St. Clair County
  • Sumter County
  • Sylacauga City
  • Talladega City
  • Talladega County
  • Tallapoosa County
  • Tallassee City
  • Tarrant City
  • Thomasville City
  • Trussville City
  • Tuscaloosa City
  • Tuscaloosa County
  • Tuscumbia City
  • Vestavia Hills City
  • Walker County
  • Washington County
  • Wilcox County
  • Winfield City
  • Winston County
  • ACCEL Day and Evening Academy public charter school
  • LEAD Academy public charter school
  • Legacy Prep public charter school