Another Cobb County teacher hospitalized with COVID-19

Jacob Furse, a chorus and drama teacher at Garrett Middle School in Cobb County, was hospitalized Dec. 16. He is the second known teacher who has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

Credit: Molly Furse

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Jacob Furse, a chorus and drama teacher at Garrett Middle School in Cobb County, was hospitalized Dec. 16. He is the second known teacher who has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

Credit: Molly Furse

A second teacher in the Cobb County School District will spend the holidays in the hospital with COVID-19.

Jacob Furse, a chorus and drama teacher at Garrett Middle School in Austell, has been hospitalized for a week in WellStar Kennestone Hospital’s unit reserved for patients with coronavirus, according to his wife Molly Furse. She said doctors have told her that her husband won’t be home for Christmas.

Furse is the second known Cobb teacher who has been hospitalized after testing positive for the virus. Patrick Key, a Hendricks Elementary School teacher, was admitted last month to WellStar Kennestone’s intensive care unit after he began struggling to breathe.

Molly Furse told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday they are not sure where her husband contracted the virus. He is receiving oxygen, but doctors hope to gradually lower the amount of oxygen he uses, she said.

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“That’s the plan from here — to see if he can handle taking it down a liter or two everyday until he’s at the lowest setting,” she said.

Furse said she and her husband started feeling sick a few days before his 30th birthday on Dec. 7. They both felt like they had sinus infections and were initially treated with antibiotics and steroids. Furse said her husband, who suffers from asthma, took a COVID-19 test, but it came back negative. After he began feeling worse, he went to the doctor for another test.

While waited for those results, Jacob Furse’s condition worsened, Molly Furse said. His fever spiked to around 104 degrees and his blood oxygen levels dropped to the point that “it was getting harder for him to breathe,” she said. He went to the hospital where doctors confirmed he had COVID-19 after a chest X-ray showed pneumonia in his lungs, but doctors felt his condition was stable enough for him to go home.

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Jacob Furse’s breathing didn’t improve and on Wednesday, Dec. 16, he went back to Kennestone Hospital where he was admitted. Molly Furse also tested positive for COVID-19, as did her mother- and brother-in-law. The Furse’s son, a toddler, received a COVID-19 test Tuesday and those results are pending, Molly Furse said.

The Furses aren’t facing this battle alone. A family friend has setup a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses insurance won’t cover. The fundraiser hopes to bring in $25,000 for the Furse family.

“We are extremely grateful,” she said. “You don’t know how many people you have in your corner until they show up like this.”

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Doctors hope to discharge Jacob Furse by New Year’s Day, his wife said.

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Cobb County, the school district last week ended the fall semester with remote learning for all students. Molly Furse said she hopes the school district will keep classrooms closed for “as long as necessary.”

Because school districts are facing pressure from some parents to keep in-person learning an option for their children, Molly Furse said she hopes teachers will get the COVID-19 vaccine soon.

“I think it’s very important for them to be at the top of the list like other essential workers,” she said.