Atlanta Public Schools to return to school January 3, staff must test

Atlanta-

Update: On January 1, 2022, Atlanta Public Schools reversed this decision and students will be virtual January 3rd-January 7th, 2022. All APS staff will report to their work location Monday, Jan. 3, for mandatory COVID surveillance testing, unless they are ill. The data collected from staff testing will be used for future planning. Students who need to pick up virtual learning devices may do so at their school on Monday, Jan. 3, and Tuesday, Jan. 4. All athletics and extracurricular activities will be suspended during this virtual week. APS students and families may pick up 5-day meal kits on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at pre-determined sites.

Atlanta Public Schools staff will return to the classroom on January 3, 2022, with mandatory surveillance testing for all employees. Students will return on Tuesday, January 4 with the option to test weekly at school.

“The pandemic and this latest surge have put an enormous strain on people and systems,” APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring said. “We must all do our part and do what we can, while also remaining realistic that, unfortunately, the numbers are currently surging and will most likely do so for the near future. This means our decisions must remain fluid so that we may be responsive to incoming, new information and data.”

The district’s surveillance testing will continue to be conducted by Atlanta-based Viral Solutions.

“Following the break and holiday gatherings, we must ensure that there is not a major spread at the beginning of the spring semester. Surveillance testing within the schools will play a vital role in mitigation strategies,” Dr. Sanders said. “During the current surge of the Omicron variant, we have seen the highest daily numbers and positivity rate since the inception of the pandemic. It is important that we remain vigilant and keep our guard up against Covid-19.” 

Atlanta Public Schools has recorded a total of 142 student cases and 115 staff cases the week of December 11-17. The district has reported 81.4% of employees are fully vaccinated.

The district will host COVID-19 vaccination events for eligible APS students who are ages 5 and older, APS families, and APS staff on Saturday, January 8 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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