BAY MINETTE. Ala. (WKRG) — Baldwin County Public Schools Superintendent Eddie Tyler says more than 200 employees of the school system are out because of COVID and the numbers are continuing to rise. He calls that a “significant and troubling” development.

In hopes of helping with COVID recovery and protocols, he announced students and staff will stay at home Monday and Tuesday. Monday is already a federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day; and Tuesday is an E-learning day. Tyler says with employee numbers continuing to climb, closing schools because of a lack of teachers is a real possibility. He hopes a four-day break from in-person learning will help reverse those numbers.

Students and staff will return on Wednesday. Tyler says he has not made a decision yet on whether they will be required to wear masks when classes resume. He will make that decision by 5 p.m. Monday.