Cobb County schools record more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases in new report

Physical Education Coach Monica Sicka greets a few masked students as they enter Pearson Middle School during the first day of school in Marietta, Monday, August 2, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

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Physical Education Coach Monica Sicka greets a few masked students as they enter Pearson Middle School during the first day of school in Marietta, Monday, August 2, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

The Cobb County School District recorded more than 1,000 active school-based COVID-19 cases in its latest data report.

The report — released Friday — documented 450 cases in elementary schools, 255 in middle schools and 321 in high schools over the past week for an overall count of 1,026 active cases.

That brings the overall number of recorded school-based cases to 2,698 for the month of August. The numbers include employees and students.

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Masks are optional in the district, but “strongly encouraged.” Cobb is Georgia’s second largest system, with an estimated 107,000 students.

The district has faced pressure from parents and medical professionals to require masks amid a surge of COVID-19 cases fueled by low vaccination rates and the highly contagious delta variant.

Georgia currently has the nation’s fifth-highest number of children hospitalized with COVID-19, according to federal health data. Two hundred-fifty children were admitted to Georgia hospitals in the week ending Aug. 25.

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Less than 24% of Georgians between the ages of 12 and 17 are fully vaccinated. Children under age 12 are not eligible for vaccines.

In a recent data report, the Georgia Department of Health reports that more than one in every 100 children in the state between the ages of 5 to 17 has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks.