Atlanta schools to go virtual for a week due to COVID spike

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ATLANTA (AP) — Another one of Georgia’s largest school districts has decided to start 2022 classes virtually because of high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Atlanta Public Schools announced students will be virtual when classes start back after winter break on Tuesday.

The district is also asking all teachers and other staff to report to their jobs for mandatory COVID-19 testing unless they are ill and will use that information for planning, the district said in a statement.

Currently, Atlanta schools plan to return to regular classes on Jan. 10.

Atlanta schools join Fulton County, Dekalb County, Clayton County and Rockdale County schools in a virtual return after Christmas.

Georgia’s two largest school districts — Gwinnett County and Cobb County — have not announced any changes to returning to school in person as of Saturday.

Georgia has hit new records for COVID infections, with more than 24,000 infections reported on Thursday and Friday.

Six health care systems that serve metro Atlanta said in a combined statement this week they have experienced 100 to 200 percent increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations in eight days, with the vast majority of the patients unvaccinated. They urged people not to come to the hospital just to get tested for the virus.

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