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In its bi-weekly COVID-19 update, the Tuscaloosa County School System announced that 48 students tested positive for the coronavirus from Sept. 1 to Sept. 11 and 349 students were quarantined during the same period.

"These students were not identified because they displayed COVID-19 symptoms, but because they were determined to be close contacts of positive cases within our schools," TCSS said in its release.

TCSS has around 19,000 students enrolled in its 34 schools.

The school system said the institutions most impacted by the virus in that 10-day period were its high schools. 85 students were quarantined from Tuscaloosa County High, and 46 more in quarantine attend Hillcrest.

The system said it does not have a total number for faculty and staff who have quarantined because of exposure to a positive case since classes resumed, but said 33 employees were listed as absent under the COVID-19 absence code Thursday. In perspective, that is less than 2 percent of the system's 2,275 employees.

"Considering the highly contagious nature of the virus, we continue to be encouraged that the steps we are taking to reduce risks in our schools are effective," the email said.

The school system said that wearing masks, social distancing, disinfecting the schools, hand washing and quarantine for those who have been exposed to the virus are key steps to keep the schools open.

To read TCSS's COVID-19 update, read it here. Follow the Tuscaloosa Thread for more reports as they are released every two weeks.