DeKalb’s reopening has been particularly controversial as some parents and teachers have said it is unsafe to return to class and criticized the district for contradicting its own reopening guidelines. DeKalb Schools officials had said they would not open until infection cases were consistently below 100 per 100,000 people over at least two consecutive weeks.
More recently the district said positivity rates in the county should be as low as 10% over two weeks in order to open. That number was 13.2% over the past 14 days, according to the Georgia Department of Health.
Students in neighboring Henry County, which has been open to in-class instruction for weeks, will return to all-remote learning when classes resume Monday. The change is temporary, with in-class learning to restart at the end of the month.
That change comes after Henry teachers held a memorial service Monday for a Stockbridge Elementary School educator who died at the end of last year from COVID-19. The teachers met with leaders of the school to express their concerns about safety while teaching in person.
Clayton County Board of Education chairwoman Jessie Goree said she also is concerned about reports of a second strain of COVID-19 circulating in some parts of the nation, and getting school staff vaccinated.
“The reality is we are only going to get through this if we look at the numbers and look at science,” she said.