Viral Images Raise Coronavirus Concerns at Georgia Schools
(ATLANTA) — Two suburban Atlanta school districts that began in-person classes Monday with mask-optional policies face more questions about COVID-19 safety protocols after on-campus pictures showed students packed shoulder-to-shoulder.
In Cherokee County, dozens of seniors gathered at two of the district’s six high schools to take traditional first-day-of-school senior photos, with students squeezing together in black outfits. No one in pictures taken at Sequoyah High School in Hickory Flat or Etowah High School in Woodstock wore a mask.
In Paulding County, student pictures taken Monday and Tuesday show crowded hallways at North Paulding High School in Dallas. Fewer than half of the students shown are wearing masks.
Read more: As the School Year Approaches, Education May Become the Pandemic’s Latest Casualty
Critics widely derided the pictures on social media, although some residents of the counties voiced support.
Georgia’s largest school district, Gwinnett County, said Tuesday it hopes to make a phased return to face-to-face instruction after an all-remote start to classes. All students seeking in-person classes could be welcome by Sept. 8, in what Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks wrote is a “best case” scenario.
Georgia hit a new weekly high for COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, having averaged 51 confirmed deaths from the respiratory illness over the last seven days. Newly confirmed cases remain high, but have trended down over the last week, as has the share of positive tests. Both could indicate the current outbreak in Georgia has peaked.
The number of people with COVID-19 in Georgia hospitals hit all time highs last week ...
More on: time.com