FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Fulton County Schools is implementing changes to the start of the new school year to counter the recent spike in COVID-19 infections.
The district announced last week that after consulting with the Georgia Department of Public Health and Fulton County Board of Health, it had decided that students would temporarily return to remote learning Jan. 4-7.
Face-to-face instruction is to resume Jan. 10, with face masks being required in all facilities until Jan. 21.
Infections have been rising in Fulton County over the past month. On Dec. 30, the state reported 2,550 COVID-19 cases in Fulton County, up from 143 at the beginning of the month. It also reported a 7-day average for new COVID-19 cases of 1,787, up from 75.
In a statement Dec. 31, the district implored the community to do all it could to be safe and strongly encouraged people to get vaccinated.
“Please remember COVID-19 is an ever-changing situation, one we cannot predict,” it stated. “We will continue to communicate changes as they occur.”
Moving forward, the district said schools with positive COVID-19 cases equal to or greater than 1% of the student/staff population would continue with remote learning until the number of cases decreases.
No schools in Fulton County currently meet that criterion. However, during the week of Dec. 24, Evoline C. West Elementary School reported 19 cases, or 0.022%; Banneker High School reported 26 cases, or 0.015%; Westlake High School reported 34 cases, or 0.014%; Asa G. Hilliard Elementary School reported eight cases, or 0.014%; and Brookview Elementary School reported seven cases, or 0.014% – the highest rates so far.
The district asks that parents or guardians submit a COVID-19 report to the parent or employee portals if their student has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 15 days, has been in close contact with someone outside of school who was diagnosed with COVID-19, or is waiting for the results of a test for COVID-19 and/or reporting a pending test result.