Fulton County Schools has once again updated its COVID-19 guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year, citing the highly contagious Delta variant.
The school system released a statement saying it is experiencing a notable increase in the number of students and staff being diagnosed with COVID-19 amongst the both vaccinated and unvaccinated. This also includes an increase in the number of school-age children and staff members requiring hospitalization.
“Fulton County Schools 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,” FCS said in a statement.
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.
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 cities 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 Fulton County Board of Health 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to include N95, KN95, multi-layered cloth washable and approved disposable masks.
Additionally, all students and employees must notify FCS 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 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,” FCS said in the statement.