Atlanta Public Schools announced Saturday that it will conduct classes remotely next week due to the surge of coronavirus cases in the metro area.
The announcement follows moves by school districts in Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton and Rockdale counties to push back the return to in-person classes due to high COVID-19 infection rates throughout the state.
The Georgia Department of Public Health on Friday reported 24,320 confirmed and probable coronavirus infections, the second-highest total of the pandemic.
A few days ago, APS said schools would open as planned next week. But on Saturday, the district said in a statement its plan changed “after further review of district and community” coronavirus data.
Online-only classes will begin Tuesday and continue through Friday. Students who need to pick up laptops or other virtual learning devices can do so at their school on Monday and Tuesday.
APS is asking employees to report to their work location on Monday for mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing — unless they are ill.
In-person classes are scheduled to resume on Jan. 10
Before the winter break, APS recorded its second highest COVID case count for the 2021-2022 school year.
For the week ending Dec. 17, the district recorded 435 COVID-19 cases: 306 students, 129 employees. Since the start of the year year, the district’s highest count — 520 cases — was reported for the week ending Aug. 27.
Below is a list of plans in place for school districts switching to online classes next week:
Atlanta Public Schools: Classes will be online-only Tuesday through Friday. Students are scheduled to return to in-person classes on Jan. 10.
Clayton County Public Schools: Classes will be online-only Wednesday through Friday. Students are scheduled to return to in-person classes on Jan. 10.
DeKalb County Public Schools: Classes will be online-only from Wednesday through Friday. Parents and guardians will be allowed to come to schools on Monday and Tuesday to pick up laptops and other devices for students who didn’t bring them home over winter break. Students will also return to in-person learning on Jan. 10.
Fulton County Schools: Classes will be online only from Tuesday through Friday. Fulton plans to return to face-to-face instruction on Jan. 10. Masks will be required from Jan. 10 through Jan. 21.
Rockdale County Public Schools: Classes will be online-only Tuesday through Friday. The district plans to return to in-person classes on Jan. 10. Staff, students, and families are urged to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to school buildings.