Cobb schools, on Nov. 5, reopened classrooms to high school students wanting to resume in-person learning. Only four of the district’s 17 high schools — Cobb Horizon, Osborne, Pebblebrook and Sprayberry — aren’t reporting any cases, according to the system’s website.
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. The district also will not indicate whether those with the virus are students or staff members.
A Cobb schools spokeswoman said district officials work directly with the local health department to monitor COVID-19 throughout the county and to “maintain health and safety protocols that keep our students and staff as safe as possible.”
The district is reminding parents they have until Nov. 29 to choose if they want their children to do remote or face-to-face learning during the second semester, which begins Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Parents can make that choice by visiting the district’s portal.
Rumors have also spread that the district will transition back to a remote-only learning after next week’s Thanksgiving break. All information made about the 2020-21 school year will be posted on the Cobb Learning Everywhere website, the district said.
“If you do not find it there, we advise taking rumors found on social media with a grain of salt," the district said.
COVID-19 numbers are also on the rise throughout Cobb County. As of Monday, the number of cases per 100,000 people in the last two weeks stood at 204, the Georgia Department of Public Health reports. That’s up from 153 on Nov. 2 and 116 on Oct. 19. The state considers anything over 100 in 100,000 to be high community spread.
Dr. Janet Memark, the physician who heads the Cobb & Douglas Public Health Department, told the AJC last week that the increase is being fueled by gatherings at businesses, restaurants, weddings, birthday parties, church services and other events. Schools seem to be less of a concern, however.
“All three of our school districts have required masks and I think that’s been a huge transmission prevention in classrooms,” she said. She added that her department has seen a “trickle” of cases from schools, and anything above that seems to be tied to athletic teams rather than classrooms.
COVID-19 are holding steady in Marietta City Schools. As of Nov. 15, the district had four student COVID-19 cases and five staff diagnoses, according to its website. On Nov. 6, the system had two student and four staff COVID-19 cases. Marietta schools only lists active cases.
District spokeswoman Jen Brock said the system confers regularly with local public health officials to see how community trends will impact schools.
The Marietta City School Board last week also took an additional step to protect students and staff in the classroom. The board voted to buy Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization units to retrofit HVAC units that have not been upgraded throughout the district.
This technology, which the district purchased from Mingledorff’s, Inc. for $255,990, can remove up to 99% of viruses and pathogens from the air, Marietta schools said. It also can be used while students and staff are in the building.
AJC reporter Meris Lutz contributed to this story.