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Morgan superintendent: Operations not affected while in quarantine

By Cassie Kuhn  

For the Enquirer  

The COVID-19 diagnosis of Morgan County Schools Superintendent Robert Elliott brought the number of employees in the system testing positive for the virus to 13 as of Oct. 27, but the superintendent said his quarantine will not affect operations.  

Spokeswoman Lisa Screws said Elliott, who tested positive Oct. 26, will work from home while in quarantine and will return to the office Nov. 6. 

“Mr. Elliott went to the doctor for what he thought was a sinus infection and was tested as a precaution. The test came back positive. Mr. Elliott is not having any other symptoms other than the sinus infection,” Screws said. 

Elliott said he was surprised at the test result because he did not have any symptoms associated with COVID-19. 

Elliott is one of 23 employees and students in Morgan County Schools who recently tested positive and had active cases of the virus. Of the 12 employees aside from Elliott who tested positive, two are at Brewer High, two are at Cotaco, one is at Danville Middle, four are at Danville-Neel Elementary, one is at Priceville High, one is at Sparkman and one is at Union Hill. 

Of the 10 students who recently tested positive, two are at Brewer High, two are at Danville High, two are at Danville-Neel Elementary, one is at Cotaco, one is at Priceville Elementary and two are at Priceville High.  

There are no recently reported cases of COVID-19 among remote students or employees. 

Morgan County Schools declined to release quarantine data, so it’s unclear how many central office employees are in quarantine because of exposure. Elliott said there has been no impact to operations within the central office because employees are able to meet through Zoom and over the phone. 

Additionally, Elliott said there’s no pre-defined number of cases or quarantines that would cause a school to move to all-virtual instruction as cases continue to rise in Morgan County. 

“There’s no way to predict what might or might not happen with case numbers and how we’d react. We’re prepared to move to remote learning if need be, since we’ve been working remotely each Wednesday,” Elliott said. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health Oct. 27 reported 41 new COVID-19 cases in Morgan County, increasing the seven-day average of new cases per day to 36. Decatur Morgan Hospital had 37 confirmed COVID-19 patients Tuesday, two below its all-time high in July. Five of the patients were in intensive care, including three on ventilators. An additional seven patients were suspected of having the virus but were awaiting test results. 

According to the ADPH, 35 Morgan County residents have died of the disease.