In response to the recent surge in coronavirus cases, the Fulton County School System released a statement Monday detailing how the school system will handle the uptick in coronavirus cases. School starts in Fulton County on August 9. The full statement from the school system is below.
Fulton County Schools (FCS) is committed to providing high-quality, uninterrupted, face-to-face instruction, while mitigating risk, for all students, employees, and visitors to the fullest extent possible for the 2021-2022 school year.
COVID-19 continues to be a serious safety concern for our community. Due to the nature of COVID-19, FCS’ guidelines continue to change. We are committed to collaborating with local, state, and federal officials, parents, and employees to respond deliberately and proportionally to the varying levels of spread in our unique communities.
We also remain committed to respecting the views and honoring the preferences of all stakeholders, to the fullest extent possible. We are currently experiencing a notable increase in the number of students and staff being diagnosed with COVID-19 amongst the vaccinated and unvaccinated. This also includes an increase in the number of school-age children and staff members requiring hospitalization.
Data indicates the Delta variant is much more contagious and more severe for unvaccinated persons. While vaccinated individuals are not fully protected from illness, severe illness is less likely.
Based on our successful experience managing the risks associated with COVID-19, and the new data, we will employ the following strategies:
- Masks will remain optional when conditions allow.
- The district’s mitigation strategy will consider the level of spread in each of our local communities.
- Schools located in municipalities where the rate of infection exceeds 100 per 100,000 residents will require all students, personnel, and visitors to wear masks until such time as the level of spread drops. Data will be taken from the FCBOH Epidemiology Reports.
- Any FCS school or facility located within a jurisdiction where the state, county, or municipality requires a mask to be worn in public spaces will honor such orders until such time as it has expired.
- The district will provide students, visitors, and employees with masks meeting the criteria established by the CDC to include N95, KN95, multi-layered cloth washable, and approved disposable masks.
- All students and employees must notify the district if they have been directly exposed to an individual with COVID-19, received a positive COVID-19 result, or are awaiting test results.
- All students and staff may continue reporting to school and work after direct exposure if the individual remains symptom-free and wears a mask while on school district property for 10 days after exposure. The GADPH and the FCBOH strongly encourages individuals directly exposed to COVID-19 to get tested after 3-5 days.
- All passengers and drivers on school buses will be required to wear a mask in compliance with federal orders.
- FCS will continue to use a localized approach to school closures by employing the district’s Closing Matrix.
- All Fulton County Schools will continue to adhere to additional mitigation strategies. These include limiting large group gatherings, ensuring clean and sanitized facilities and buses, cleaning classrooms and buildings throughout the day, encouraging frequent hand washing, limiting communal items, and practicing physical (social) distancing where practical.
To be successful in providing quality, uninterrupted, face-to-face instruction in the safest manner practical, everyone’s adherence and cooperation is appreciated.
Fulton County currently averages about 186 new cases of coronavirus per day. The county has had 2,315 cases in the last two weeks.
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