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South Georgia schools make changes due to COVID-19

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 18:45:39-05

DONALSONVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — For Seminole County elementary, middle and high schoolers, school was closed all of Friday.

Starting Monday, although elementary school students will be able to return to class, students in middle and high school will start virtual learning for the next week, returning back to class on Jan. 31.

Superintendent Mark Earnest said teachers coming down with COVID-19 contributed to the switch to virtual learning.

"Yes, it's all COVID-related. We had 28 teachers and para-professionals out yesterday," Earnest said.

With middle and high school going back virtual, parent Renee Kimble, who has a 13-year-old son says the whole situation is frustrating.

"Very frustrating," Kimble said. "I feel that their education is getting stolen from them and I just wish they had a better way to work this out, like mandate masks for everyone that go to school, teachers, principles, and all."

A mask requirement is one of the changes Cook County Schools in South Georgia is also making. In a Facebook post, the school district says that masks will now be required in all communal areas of the school, including classrooms, hallways, and busses.

The COVID-19 situation spreading rapidly in South Georgia. Out of the 10 counties, South Health District in Valdosta covers in COVID-19 cases reported to them, 20% of cases fall under the ages five to 18.

"Those are just the cases that are reported to us. It could be higher than that," Kenneth Lowery of South Health District said,

Seminole County Schools said that although their middle and high schoolers will be learning virtually for the next week, their extracurricular activities will go on as scheduled as long as theirs enough staff.