Several of Rome’s schools have shifted to the resumption of COVID-19 prevention measures while the county schools, whose policies require more reported infections, are continuing business as usual.
As of Friday West End, Anna K Davie, West Central and East Central elementary schools as well as Rome Middle School have reached a mark of 1% of the student population infected and have shifted to Phase 2 of the system’s COVID-19 prevention plan.
That essentially means students and staff will wear face coverings and take other measures like eating lunches in classrooms instead of cafeterias.
Other schools within the system are likely to follow, Rome High School was one case below its 1% margin of 22 new cases in a seven day period on Thursday.
Rome reports their numbers a day behind, a total of 87 students and staff members in the school system tested positive as of Thursday.
The Floyd County School Board has set a higher bar before taking precautions, and as of Friday several schools had nearly reached that infection rate. The county requires 2% of the student population to be infected before requiring masks at a school.
Armuchee Elementary and Middle as well as Model Elementary and Pepperell Elementary were near the 2% mark. According to the information published on the county schools website, it doesn’t appear the county schools factor infected staff members into that percentage.
As of Friday, the county reported 69 students and staff members infected with COVID-19.
Under county policy any school that exceeds the threshold of a 5% student infection rate will be closed for 5 days.
State infections continue up
The Georgia Department of Public Health has reported issues with its COVID-19 website throughout the week, and there were no new local numbers reported on Friday.
State numbers continued up at record rates with 26,033 new cases reported Friday. The DPH also reported 33 COVID-19 deaths in Georgia on Friday.
So what can we tell locally? The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to increase at local hospitals, but with less rapidity than earlier this week.
For reference, that’s up from an average of 20-30 patients being treated with serious cases of COVID-19 in early to mid-December before new cases spiked locally.