Four Fulton County schools reopen after week-long move to virtual

Banneker High School is one of four Fulton County schools to reopen Monday after temporarily moving to online-only classes. Photo courtesy of FULTON COUNTY SCHOOLS

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Banneker High School is one of four Fulton County schools to reopen Monday after temporarily moving to online-only classes. Photo courtesy of FULTON COUNTY SCHOOLS

Four Fulton County schools resumed in-person learning Monday after COVID-19 cases prompted a temporary move to virtual classes.

Students at Banneker High School, Gullatt Elementary School, Liberty Point Elementary School and Fulton County Schools’ College and Career Academy switched to online learning last week because coronavirus cases in Union City exceeded 1,250 cases per 100,000 people.

The schools were the first to switch to online learning under the district’s new “mitigation matrix,” a safety strategy that calls for schools to move to virtual learning when case levels in the city where the campuses are located surpass that threshold.

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District rules allow the schools to reopen after local COVID-19 case counts drop.

The COVID-19 rate in Union City fell to 1,049.6 cases per 100,000 residents, according to data released Friday by the Fulton County Board of Health. The Friday report marked the second time last week that the city was under the 1,250-case mark, meeting the district’s criteria to reopen school buildings.

Union City’s COVID-19 incidence rate had reached 1,426.5 cases per 100,000 residents as of the health agency’s Sept. 10 report.

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The district unveiled the mitigation matrix earlier this month. It’s just one of the policies that guide district decisions about when to switch to online learning. The district also continues to temporarily halt in-person learning and send classes of students home in response to case counts at individual schools.

For the week ending Sept. 16, the district reported 334 positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff. The district has documented 3,285 cases since the start of the school year.