One in every 100 Georgia children between ages 5 and 17 has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks.
Metro Atlanta schools are facing a surge in cases of COVID-19 with more than 6,300 cases of the virus in Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Gwinnett and Henry counties.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the number will soon increase because Clayton County has not released its data. That district had eight schools go virtual this month after the cases of the delta variant rose.
The report notes that multiple school districts are seeing the highest case counts in elementary school-aged students, who are not yet eligible for vaccination. They are also the least likely demographic to be regularly tested.
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School districts in Georgia have enacted social distancing measures in buses and cafeterias, but the sheer volume of students back in classrooms has complicated the challenge. Most school districts have “mask-optional” campuses, except Fulton County, where the city of Atlanta sits, which requires masks but is considering making them optional.
Cumulatively, 14 of the 15 metro Atlanta school districts have recorded more than 10,000 cases of COVID-19.
According to The AJC, the Georgia Department of Health has released a report noting that one in every 100 children in the state between the ages of 5 to 17 has tested positive for the virus in the past two weeks.
In addition to students, teachers are falling ill with the virus too. Two metro Atlanta faculty members have died in the past week. Their family members told The AJC they got sick before school started and hadn’t had contact with students.
One of them, Walter Kearse, 36, was vaccinated — and from his hospital room, he still encouraged others to get a vaccine and to wear a mask.
In the state’s second-largest school district, Cobb County, the chairwoman of the Board of Commissioners signed a declaration of emergency.
“Public health officials are urging us to do whatever we can to encourage people to get the COVID vaccine and wear masks while near other people,” Lisa Cupid said. “This declaration will open the doors to provide assistance to others in the county who need it and highlight the critical stress this surge has put on our local healthcare facilities.”
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