By Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2020

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (AP) - A central Alabama school system and a Birmingham elementary school are shifting to online learning because of surging coronavirus infections.

Alexander City schools will go online beginning Monday and stay that way until after Thanksgiving holidays, Superintendent Keith Lankford announced Wednesday. He says the 3,000-student system northeast of Montgomery has 17 students and 15 teachers who have tested positive in recent days. After contact tracing, another 241 students and 18 faculty members are in quarantine.

Alexander City Middle School went to virtual learning beginning Thursday.

Lankford said students who do not have access to an electronic device at home will be issued one by the school system. The district will provide breakfast and lunch for parent pickup during the period. Sports and extracurricular activities will continue at Benjamin Russell High School unless students are quarantined or isolated, district officials said, but are suspended at the middle school until Nov. 30.

In Birmingham, 500-student Tuggle Elementary School will move to remote learning for the rest of the week after reporting five COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks. Mark Sullivan, superintendent of the 22,000-student Birmingham district, said the district will clean the building and faculty and staff will work remotely until Monday. The district’s nursing staff are still tracing contacts.

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