Yesterday, the fourth largest school district in the state, Fulton County Schools, issued more guidance around mask-wearing and other COVID precautions to their families. The most notable change is that Fulton County Schools will require masks in schools located in municipalities with high rates of COVID-19 infection.
In a statement, the district said,
“We are currently experiencing a notable increase in the number of students and staff being diagnosed with COVID-19 amongst the vaccinated and unvaccinated. This also includes an increase in the number of school-age children and staff members requiring hospitalization. Data indicates the Delta variant is much more contagious and more severe for unvaccinated persons. While vaccinated individuals are not fully protected from illness, severe illness is less likely.”Fulton County Schools
The district will determine which schools will have to mask based on epidemiology reports issued by the Fulton County Board of Health issued this Wednesday, August 4th.
In addition to the updated mask policy and procedures, the district will also continue with the following mitigation strategies:
- Masks will remain optional when conditions allow.
- The district’s mitigation strategy will consider the level of spread in each of our local communities.
- Schools located in municipalities where the rate of infection exceeds 100 per 100,000 residents will require all students, personnel, and visitors to wear masks until such time as the level of spread drops. Data will be taken from the FCBOH Epidemiology Reports.
- Any FCS school or facility located within a jurisdiction where the state, county or municipality requires a mask be worn in public spaces will honor such orders until such time as it has expired.
- The district will provide students, visitors and employees with masks meeting the criteria established by the CDC to include N95, KN95, multi-layered cloth washable and approved disposable masks.
- All students and employees must notify the district if they have been directly exposed to an individual with COVID-19, received a positive COVID-19 result or are awaiting test results.
- All students and staff may continue reporting to school and work after a direct exposure, if the individual remains symptom free and wears a mask while on school district property for 10 days after exposure. The GADPH and the FCBOH strongly encourages individuals directly exposed to COVID-19 get tested after 3-5 days.
- All passengers and drivers on school buses will be required to wear a mask in compliance with federal orders.
- FCS will continue to use a localized approach to school closures by employing the district’s Closing Matrix.
- All Fulton County Schools will continue to adhere to additional mitigation strategies. These include limiting large group gatherings, ensuring clean and sanitized facilities and buses, cleaning classrooms and buildings throughout the day, encouraging frequent hand washing, limiting of communal items, and practicing physical (social) distancing where practical.
The district’s first day of school is scheduled for August 9th.