Hundreds of doctors sign letter to Cobb County school leaders

A letter signed by 240 physicians and medical professionals has been sent to Cobb County Schools Superintendent Chris Ragsdale and board members.

The letter states the district isn't following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when it comes to COVID-19 and is putting students and staff at risk.

"We're speaking out because we feel strongly that our kids need to be protected in the school buildings and right now they're not safe," said pediatrician, Dr. Laura Verigan

Like many of the physicians who signed the letter, Dr. Laura Verigan is also a parent. She said they want the board to follow the guidelines they did last year which included a mask mandate, a strict quarantine policy, and a robust virtual option.

"They have dropped all mitigation efforts they had in place last year and are still expecting to have a successful year," said Dr. Verigan.

Hundreds of students have already been exposed to COVID-19 during the first few weeks of school. CDC guidelines state those who have close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should be tested and quarantine. If the person is fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms, they should still be tested following a known exposure.

 In Cobb County schools someone who has been exposed and is asymptomatic can still go to school as long as they wear a mask for 10 days. Testing is not required.

"It doesn't fit with guidelines that the top public health experts in the country are recommending," said Dr. Verigan.

The doctors said they understand the importance of in-person learning but they say it must be balanced with safety. Dr. Verigan said she hopes the superintendent listens to what they're saying and makes some changes.

"We should be doing all we can to limit the spread and take some actions in the schools so he doesn't have to close the schools down," said Dr. Verigan. 

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