2 Georgia school systems will delay reopening due to COVID-19 outbreak

Area school districts are making contingency plans for classes to be held as Gov. Mike DeWine announced closures of all Ohio schools until April 3.

Students in Long and Ware counties will not return to classes this week

Long County School System and Ware County Schools have announced a delay to reopening their schools due to the spread of coronavirus “significantly” increasing in recent days, according to a message on the county schools’ website.

Long County administrators announced over the weekend that they would delay reopening their schools, Smiley Elementary, McClelland Elementary, Long County Middle and Long County High, until Jan. 11. The school system, which is based in Ludowici, will still have employees report onsite this week. Teachers and administrators will prepare their plans for virtual learning throughout this week in case virtual learning replaces in-person learning this semester, according to the school system’s website.

“Long County School District Administrators have continued to closely monitor local COVID-19 data provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health throughout the Christmas break,” read a statement from the school system. “Unfortunately, our community spread rate has significantly increased.”

The last report from the school system shows that 11 students tested positive for COVID-19 and three employees reportedly tested positive as of Dec. 17.

Another county school system, Ware County Schools, also delayed its reopening after beginning the winter break early due to a rise in cases, according to news station CBS 47. Its school system serves more than 6,300 students at 10 schools, including six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school.

The school district released the following statement about the delayed opening:

“Over the course of the break, school system officials have remained in contact with local health officials and monitored COVID case counts. Out of an abundance of caution, Ware County Schools will delay reopening for students until Monday, January 11, 2021. System employees only will report to work onsite the week of January 4 – 8.

“All athletic events and practices, extra-curricular activities, or school-sponsored student activities scheduled for January 4-10, 2021 have been cancelled.”

For Long County, the school system leaders will decide whether to transition to 100% virtual learning by Thursday, according to a Long County School System statement.

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