There are 21 current active cases of COVID-19 that have been reported at McCleskey Middle School in Northeast Cobb, according to Cobb County School District data.
That’s the highest number of active cases at a particular school in the district, which began its spring semester on Thursday.
However, several other schools in East Cobb also have double-digit active case numbers, and the district on Tuesday said several other schools were going to all-virtual instruction for the rest of the week.
The district previously had reported only cumulative case numbers at each school. Now, the active number of cases is included in its weekly update, which is posted every Friday.
In that update are 351 new cases in the Cobb school district, and there have been 1,200 since Dec. 4. Since last July 1, when the Cobb school district began reporting COVID cases, there have been 1,921, but they are not broken down between students and staff.
North Cobb High School has 17 active cases, there are 14 at Awtrey Middle School, 12 at Lassiter High School, 11 at Walton High School and 10 at Kell High School.
In addition, there are 8 active cases each at Bells Ferry Elementary School and Wheeler High School.
The return to classrooms comes after a Cobb school district teacher died of COVID on Christmas Day, and as an online petition was formed to urge Cobb to go online-only, as is the case in other metro Atlanta school districts.
Cobb Board of Education member Jaha Howard posted a message on his Facebook page early Tuesday afternoon that the entire district was moving to all-virtual for the rest of the week.
But that was later corrected to report that Hillgrove High School, Nickajack Elementary School, Clay Harmony Leland Elementary School, Barber Middle School and Lindley Middle School will be going all-remote.
A Cobb school district spokeswoman did not respond to specific questions from East Cobb News about the active case numbers at McCleskey and other schools, and whether they were being considered for possible all-remote instruction. Here’s her statement:
“As part of our ongoing commitment to student and staff safety and based on student, staff, and school needs, the District is making school-by-school closing decisions on an individual basis.
“Despite social media posts to the contrary, the District is NOT transitioning to remote learning and remains committed to face-to-face and remote classroom options for students and parents.
“We are committed to announcing any future closings as soon as decisions are made. Cobb Schools continues to partner with the Cobb & Douglas Public Health Department to make decisions concerning our district’s response to the pandemic. Whether face-to-face or in fully remote classrooms, Cobb teachers will continue to teach, and students will continue to learn, from everywhere.”
At a Tuesday meeting of the Cobb Board of Commissioners, Dr. Janet Memark, director of Cobb and Douglas Public Health, said that parents who are “able to have your children go virtual at this point [if] this is something that if you can do it, it is recommended.”
The Cobb school district spokeswoman said that Memark has not recommended that Cobb schools go all-virtual.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Cobb’s community spread data reached new heights on Tuesday, with a 14-day average of 923 cases per 100,000 people.
Another 427 cases were reported in Cobb on Tuesday, following a single-day record of 96 last Thursday.
The Cobb school district said another “choice window” for parents to choose face-to-face or remote learning options will be announced during mid-semester, but no dates have been announced.
- Cobb school board elects officers for 2021
- Cobb schools return amid COVID concerns, teacher’s death
- 23 COVID cases confirmed at Walton HS as fall semester ends
- Cobb school board argues over buying sanitizing products
- Cobb health director urges caution in letter to school parents
- Cobb schools reveal face-to-face, remote options for spring semester
- Cobb school superintendent: ‘No metrics’ for COVID closures
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