Coronavirus spike causes Cobb schools to close classrooms for rest of semester

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A community spike in coronavirus cases has forced the Cobb County School District to close classrooms and transition to remote learning . All district students will take their classes virtually on Thursday and Friday. Cobb schools’ winter break begins Dec. 21 and runs through Jan. 6, 2021, when students will return for the spring semester. “This was not an easy decision and we understand that this may be a difficulty for some of our families,” the school district said. According to the Department of Public Health, Cobb County as of Tuesday had 30,557 COVID-19 cases and 514 deaths. The two-week cases per 100,000 has also swelled to 521, which is up from 293 on Dec. 1 and 224 on Nov. 17

A community spike in coronavirus cases has forced the Cobb County School District to close classrooms and transition to remote learning for the rest of the fall semester.

All district students will take their classes virtually on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is already set aside by the district as a remote learning day for all students. Cobb schools’ winter break begins Dec. 21 and runs through Jan. 6, 2021, when students will return for the spring semester.

The school district said Tuesday that the number of positive cases in the community “continues to rise and we are taking every possible step, including using remote learning days, to keep community spread from becoming school spread.”

“This was not an easy decision and we understand that this may be a difficulty for some of our families,” the school district said. “Working collaboratively with Cobb & Douglas Public Health, this decision is intended to benefit our students, staff, and could help our entire community be safer and healthier over the holiday break.”

As of Tuesday, the district had 1,214 confirmed COVID-19 cases since July 1, according to its website. All but 26 of the district’s 112 schools are reporting active cases, the district’s site indicates.

Moving to remote learning will give staff and public health officials enough time to work on contact tracing for active cases, school officials said.

The district began the 2020-21 school year virtually in August, but started a phased transition plan in October that brought students back into the classroom. Parents of students were given the opportunity to choose if they wanted their children to go back to face-to-face learning or if they preferred to stick with the remote option.

The district previously told the AJC that in order to protect the privacy of anyone who is sick or quarantined it will follow a state Department of Public Health recommendation to not list the number of cases by school if there are fewer than 10.

Only one school — Kemp Elementary — is reporting more than 10 cases. The school in Powder Springs has 11 active cases, the district’s website states. The district also will not indicate whether those with the virus are students or staff members.

According to the Department of Public Health, Cobb County as of Tuesday had 30,800 COVID-19 cases and 518 deaths. The two-week cases per 100,000 has also swelled to 524, which is up from 293 on Dec. 1 and 224 on Nov. 17, the Department of Public Health reports.

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