Hoover City Schools shares new mask matrix procedures

Published 2:02 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021


HOOVER – Hoover City Schools released its updated face covering matrix procedures on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

HCS Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler recommended that after the existing face covering mandate expired on Sept. 20, future requirements will be determined by a matrix consisting of the following:

  • When the district’s seven-day percentage of student positive cases reaches 1 percent or below, or when the overall level of community transmission is Moderate (Yellow) or Low (Blue), as determined by the Alabama Department of Public Health, then face coverings will become optional.
  • HCS will use its weekly district student positive case percentage that is released every Wednesday, and officials will need to see a percentage below or above 1 percent for two consecutive weeks before they change the requirements between face coverings mandated (over 1 percent) or face coverings optional (at or below 1 percent).
  • The new policy begins after the current mandate ends on Sept. 20.
  • The first data point will be Wednesday, Sept. 29. The second data point will be Wednesday, Oct. 6. If both show student positivity below 1 percent, then HCS will be face covering optional beginning Thursday, Oct. 7.
  • Messages will start going out to employees and parents regarding face covering status on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

Facial coverings will remain mandatory for passengers and drivers on school buses.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has interpreted the federal order regarding facial covering requirements on all forms of public transportation to include public school buses. This requirement supersedes the facial covering policy of the schools.

When face coverings become optional, the district’s close contact procedures will have to change slightly.

Currently, with all students wearing a face covering, HCS is only required to identify people who are within 3 feet of the positive person for more than 15 minutes.

If a person is not wearing a face covering, then they will have to expand that circle to 6 feet around the positive person.

HCS will continue to notify parents of close contacts, ask parents to monitor their children for symptoms, and ask them to make their own decision about isolation from school as long as the child is not exhibiting symptoms.

The district will release a message to all parents and employees each Wednesday before 5 p.m. to let everyone know whether the school face covering requirement for the next week will stay the same or change.