A dozen Hall County schools are masking up as COVID-19 cases rise to unprecedented levels, and seven of those schools extended their mask mandates today, Sept. 3.
The district has nearly doubled its previous record of infections, with 385 confirmed cases as of Sept. 3. The previous peak was 198 cases on Dec. 14, 2020.
Here are the Hall County schools requiring masks and how long they will be required. For more information about COVID-19, visit the district website:
C.W. Davis Middle: Sept. 3
Cherokee Bluff High: Sept. 7, pending results of outstanding COVID-19 tests
Cherokee Bluff Middle: Sept. 7, pending results of outstanding COVID-19 tests
Chestnut Mountain Elementary: Sept. 10
Chicopee Woods Elementary: Sept. 10
East Hall Middle: Sept. 10
Flowery Branch High: Sept. 10
Johnson High: Sept. 10
Mt. Vernon Elementary: Sept. 7 for 4th and 5th grade, pending results of outstanding COVID-19 tests
North Hall High: Sept. 7, pending results of outstanding COVID-19 tests
Oakwood Elementary: Sept. 10
Sardis Elementary: Sept. 3
Spout Springs Elementary: Sept. 10
The district has maintained its mask-optional policy, but almost one-third of its schools are now requiring masks to combat the surge in cases, and in the past several days alone three schools have joined this list.
Superintendent Will Schofield has said “there's just no data out there yet that suggests schools are a vector of spread” in the community, and has noted that comparable school districts that require masks also have high case numbers, such as Bibb County, which just moved to remote learning. Schofield consults with the Department of Health weekly for COVID-19 guidance. The CDC and the DPH recommend universal masking in areas with high transmission, such as Hall County.
Gainesville City Schools reported 124 total cases as of Sept. 3. The school system issued a temporary universal mask mandate last week after breaking its record of weekly cases.