MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) UPDATE 4:00 P.M. Governor Kay Ivey signs a supplement to the state emergency order allowing schools to continue instructing students at home starting April 6th.
Students will finish the academic year online in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus around the state.
Governor Ivey says distance learning will be for all Alabama public students, grades K-12. She says that “This is not stay at home and invite all your friends over.” This is to make sure Alabama residents help prevent the spread and students are able to still receive their education.
Alabama Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey speaks during the press conference about Alabama schools finishing up the academic year online. He says that he wants to ensure everyone that they are working on a plan to continue learning and seniors graduating.
Superintendent Dr. Mackey says school officials are working through issues regarding making sure seniors are college-ready, as well as any students who do not have internet access at their homes.
And when it comes to school activities, such as band, and sports for the year, due to the online school starting April 6th, that will now come to an end as well.
Also, Dr. Eric Mackey says that other activities such as prom, graduation may still take place, but not before June 5th.
School officials are also working to make sure that they work to prevent the ‘summer slide’ in knowledge and retention from growing larger since students have been out of school for quite some time.
The school year will now end on June 5th, since most students have only lost on average about 7 days of instructional time, according to Dr. Mackey.
Dr. Mackey says, school officials will also be able to offer take-home packets along with the online learning.
Mackey says starting Friday morning, school officials will work to solve these issues and make sure everyone is able to participate and have the needed school resources.
School officials say that the most important thing that they will have to do for K-3 students when school begins this fall is to assess their learning.
Alabama Department of Public Health officer, Dr. Scott Harris says that the state has 517 confirmed cases and 1 coronavirus-related death at this time. Dr. Harris says that there are other deaths that they are looking into but they have only confirmed 1 death at this time.
Dr. Harris says the state is working on adding more testing sites to help prevent the spread and they are continuing to urge everyone to use social distancing.
According to Dr. Harris, the average age of those with the coronavirus in Alabama is 47 years old. But the overall range of ages with the virus in the state is 1 to 97 years old, which is a pretty wide range.
Dr. Harris says of those confirmed cases in the state 8% of those people are hospitalized, half are in ICU and one-third is on a ventilator.
Health officials say they expect the state to see cases increase for some time. So they are asking the public to follow guidelines to help stop the spread, such as washing hands, social distancing and sheltering in place if their county advises to.
When it comes to a statewide ‘shelter in place’ due to the rapid spread of the virus, Governor Ivey says, “Y’all we are not Louisiana, we are not New York State, we are not California. Now is not the time to order people to shelter in place.”
She says the need is to keep businesses open but to continue to follow social distancing.
For more details regarding the coronavirus outbreak in Alabama visit
For more details regarding the coronavirus from the Alabama State Department of Education visit.