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Clarke County Students Head Back to School Amid Rising COVID Numbers

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Nearly 12,500 students were due back in Clarke County schools today. Due to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, low vaccination rates among eligible children, and CDC recommendations among other concerns, all students, staff and visitors are required to masks while inside any district building.

It’s a decision former Emergency Room Physician Dr. Neil Priest, agrees with, particularly with rising concerns regarding the Delta variant.

“What’s going to happen with the susceptibility of children? The answer, and the American Association of Pediatrics realizing that this is starting to explode, they’ve sort of preemptively have recommended that everybody wear masks in grammar school and as much as possible throughout the rest, vaccinated or unvaccinated,” Priest said.

Dr. Grace Bagwell Adams with UGA’s College of Public Health encourages vaccinations due to rising concerns regarding the highly contagious Delta variant.

“We’re not at that herd immunity level, we’re only about 40 percent, again in the state of Georgia and this community,” according to Bagwell Adams. “And even a person who perfectly complies with using the tools that Dr. Priest just discussed, so the mask wearing, washing your hands, social distancing, every time you go outside you’re rolling the dice."

The transmissibility of Delta at this point is so dangerous, it's so high that even perfect compliance does not necessarily protect you 100 percent.

Nearly 12,500 students are returning to class in Clarke County. The mask requirement remains in place regardless of vaccination status.

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