Metro Atlanta schools record over 4,000 COVID cases in shorter week

The highest number of COVID-19 cases in the Cobb County School District continue to be in elementary schools. (File photo)
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The highest number of COVID-19 cases in the Cobb County School District continue to be in elementary schools. (File photo)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with data from Clayton County.

A shortened school week due to the Labor Day holiday contributed to a decline in coronavirus cases recorded by metro Atlanta school districts, according to the most recent data reports.

Thirteen area districts reported 4,077 cases last week, which was a significant drop from the nearly 6,000 cases documented the previous week. Clayton County Schools has not yet posted its data, so last week’s numbers will grow when that happens.

The districts recorded nearly 29,000 COVID-19 cases since the school year began last month. That number relies on self-reporting so the actual totals are likely higher, according to health officials.

Many school districts continue to see high numbers among students under age 12 and not yet eligible for vaccines. For instance, the highest weekly case counts in the Cobb County School District are consistently among elementary students, who account for nearly 2,100 of the district’s cumulative case count of 4,268.

Below is a summary of the latest coronavirus data and news from 14 Atlanta area districts. Districts do not post information in a uniform way. For instance, some break down cases involving students and staff, while others only provide a single total.

Atlanta Public Schools

Masks: Required

Enrollment: Approximately 51,000 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 2-Sept. 10): 1,823. Breakdown: 1,546 students; 277 staff

Latest report: The district recorded 272 COVID-19 cases from Sept. 4-10. Of those, 221 cases were students, 51 cases were staff. The highest counts were at Douglass High School (16 cases) and Washington High School (13 cases)

Buford City Schools

Masks: Optional

Enrollment: About 5,525 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 5-Sept. 9): 361. Breakdown: 321 students, 40 staff

Latest report: The latest report covers the dates of Sept. 4-9. During that time, the district recorded 57 COVID-19 cases: 53 students, 4 staff. Late last week the district announced that kindergarten students will be each lunch in the classroom for the next two weeks.

Cherokee County School District

Masks: Optional

School start: Aug. 2

Enrollment: Approximately 42,000 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 2-Sept. 10): 3,112. Breakdown: 2,653 students, 459 staff

Latest report: For the week ending Sept. 10, the district recorded 375 COVID-19 cases: 317 students, 58 staff.

City Schools of Decatur

Masks: Required

Enrollment: Approximately 5,700 students.

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 3-Sept. 10): 85. Breakdown: 70 students, 15 staff

Latest report: For the week ending Sept. 10, the district reported 19 COVID-19 cases: 17 students, 2 staff. The number of students and staff quarantined was 42.

Clayton County School District

Masks: Required

Enrollment: More than 50,000

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 5-Sept. 3): 1,239. (Breakdown: 1,084 students, 155 staff)

Latest report: For the week ending Sept. 10, the district recorded 194 cases: 177 students, 17 staff.

Cobb County School District

Masks: Optional

Enrollment: Approximately 107,000 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 2-Sept. 10): 4,350

Latest report: The district reported 658 for the week ending Sept. 10: 633 school-by-school COVID-19 cases and 25 additional cases Of those 362 cases were in elementary schools, 143 cases were in high schools and 128 were in middle schools. In terms of cumulative numbers, elementary schools have been the hardest hit since the beginning of the school year with nearly 3,000 documented cases. (Note: Cobb’s cumulative case total reflects some cases that were not counted in previous weeks.)

DeKalb County School District

Masks: Required

Enrollment: Approximately 93,000 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 2-Sept. 9): 2,523

Latest report: In its latest data report, the district reported 344 COVID-19 cases from Sept. 3-9. Of those, 297 were students, 47 were staff. That’s 24 fewer cases than the previous week.

Douglas County School System

Masks: Required

Enrollment: Approximately 26,000 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 4-Sept 9): 1,008. Breakdown: District data doesn’t provide that information.

Latest report: The district recorded 160 cases from Sept. 3-9. Of those, 65 were in elementary schools, 40 in middle schools, 52 in high schools and 3 in district offices.

Fayette County Public Schools

Masks: Required Aug. 27-Sept. 17

Enrollment: Approximately 20,000 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 2-Sept. 10): 816. Breakdown: 723 students, 93 staff

Latest report: The district reported 58 cases for the week ending Sept. 10.

Forsyth County Public Schools

Masks: Optional

Enrollment: Approximately 51,000 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 4-Sept. 11): 3,389

Latest weekly report: The district recorded 527 new cases of COVID-19 from Sept. 4-11 This district also posts daily reports of active cases. Last week the highest count was 714 cases on Sept. 5. The lowest count was 776 was on Aug. 30.

Fulton County Public Schools

Masks: Required

Enrollment: Approximately 94,400 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 9-Sept. 9): 2,951. Breakdown: District data doesn’t provide that information.

Latest report: The district recorded 362 COVID-19 cases last week. At the same time, the district reported that 44,375 individuals had contact with a staff or student deemed COVID-19 positive. The district deems an entire class or bus a potential contact when at least one individual tests positive for the coronavirus.

Gwinnett County Public Schools

Masks: Required

Enrollment: Approximately 177,000 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 4-Sept. 12): 4,651. Breakdown: 4,170 students, 481 staff

Latest report: Over the past week, the district recorded 804 COVID-19 cases: 729 students, 75 students.

Henry County School District

Masks: Required as of Aug. 9

Enrollment: Approximately 43,000 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 4-Sept. 13): 1,895. Breakdown: 1,636 students, 259 staff

Latest report: The district recorded 213 COVID-19 cases for the week ending Sept. 3. Of those, 175 were students, 38 were staff.

Marietta City Schools

Masks: Required, as of Aug. 23

Enrollment: Approximately 8,900 students

Cumulative COVID-19 cases (Aug. 3-Sept. 10): 424. Breakdown: 356 students, 68 staff

Latest report: The district recorded 34 COVID-19 cases last week: 24 students, 10 staff.

Data journalist Jennifer Peebles contributed to this report.

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