Cobb County Schools release new health protocols

Students here in Cobb County have only been back in the classroom for three days and there have already been a number of positive COVID-19 cases. Wednesday, the school district released new health protocols.

Cobb School Board member Dr. Jaha Howard, who represents some of the schools that have already had exposures from meet and greet, says he started hearing from parents moments after the new protocols were sent out.

"The new guidelines have several holes in them. We have a lot of parents who are justified in being upset now," said Dr. Howard.

The new protocols state that students or staff who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 but isn't showing any symptoms, do not have to quarantine. They can return to school as long as they wear a mask for 10 days.

"I'm not comfortable with that. If you know someone has been in contact with somebody with COVID I think you should stay home," said Ursula Faulkner, a Cobb County parent.

Robert Jones has a daughter at King Springs Elementary.  

"I was excited when I saw new protocols. I thought cases are going up we're going to put masks back on, go back to distancing, It turned out to be the opposite. We're not going to lower restrictions and follow the Georgia Department of Public Health recommendations on quarantine. With unmasked, unvaccinated elementary students it is going to be a problem," said Jones.

Jones said this would also put an added burden on teachers and staff to make sure those students are wearing a mask for the full ten days.  

"The teachers are doing a great job this would be one more thing they have to do.  They're going to have to figure out which kid in their class has to be wearing a mask," said Jones.

Some parents thought the new protocols would call for a mask mandate like other districts have, instead it says masks are "strongly encouraged".

The protocols also limit volunteers in the school during school hours, but welcome volunteers on campus for afterschool activities. Also, parents are not allowed to have lunch with their children.

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