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As Georgia schools prepare to reopen, many parents are worried about their children’s health. Considering that children under 12 cannot get vaccinated and school districts are not mandating masks, it is understandable why parents are concerned. However, some school districts are reversing their decisions and following CDC guidance, according to reports on Aug. 2, 2021.
Georgia’s School Vaccine and Health Guidelines
There are approximately 181 school districts in the state of Georgia. Additionally, Georgia’s school district’s COVID-19 safety measures vary depending on the county. So far, only Atlanta Public Schools, Gwinnett County, and Dekalb County have made mandatory rules for students and staff to wear masks. With start dates varying, the upcoming school year seems to be filled with uncertainty for parents and students.
In addition to the lack of public health guidelines, Georgia is struggling with a spike in COVID cases due to the Delta variant. As a result, some parents who have teens and young children have already vaccinated their teenage children in hopes of preventing their younger children from getting sick.
However, with the CDC reporting that the Delta variant can be transmitted from a vaccinated person, it is important to remember the vaccine will protect the vaccinated individuals against becoming seriously ill if they become infected with the Delta variant. Still, it will not protect those who are unvaccinated. Wearing a mask and social distancing will help keep this type of transmission low.
Although many parents are finding peace in having students and staff wear masks and getting vaccinated, some parents are not happy about the change. In fact, Georgia’s school COVID-19 safety measures are unreliable due to some of this pushback because some parents believe the state’s schools should not include students being forced to wear masks. The reality is that students should continue to wear masks and vaccinate to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19.
Written by Reginae Echols
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: What Georgia schools are doing as students return to classrooms with Covid cases rising; by Dakin Andone
Featured Image Courtesy of Chris Yunker’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Phil Roeder’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License