A Georgia county has shut down all 11 of its public schools just over a week after classes began, amid a “sharp increase” in student coronavirus cases.
Schools in Ware County in southeastern Georgia are now closed until at least Aug. 27, and students won’t be allowed back until Sept. 7 at the earliest, according to officials.
Four other small school districts in Georgia suspended in-person instruction earlier in the week, as COVID-19 cases among students soared.
“Initially, we thought we were going to have a normal start,” Ware County schools Superintendent Bert Smith told WJXT-4 TV.
Georgia ranks among the bottom eight states in terms of vaccination rates, with just 39.4% of its population fully vaccinated.
Ware, like most Georgia counties, has a mask-optional policy in schools, though masks “were strongly recommended,” according to WSAV.
The battle over COVID precautions at schools erupted into violence Wednesday in a California school where masks are required. »