Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, students must wear masks on the first day of classes in Sandy Springs on Aug. 9 and at most other schools in the Fulton County Schools system.

The rate of infection of COVID-19 rose above 100 per 100,000 residents in every Fulton city except Johns Creek, which Superintendent of Schools Mike Looney said was the cutoff point where mask wearing was no longer optional.

Wearing masks just like students, teachers and staff will need to do when schools open for classes are FCS Chief Academic Officer Cliff Jones, School Board member Katha Stuart, Superintendent Mike Looney and School Board President Julia Bernath and Zone Superintendent Kibbey Crumbley . They joined staff from several schools at the First Day Fulton event held at North Springs High on July 31. (FCS)

Sandy Springs had its incidence rate rise to 136.6 cases per 100,000. Johns Creek was the only city with a case rate below 100 during the 14-day reporting period of July 15-28 as reported in the Fulton County Board of Health Epidemiology Report.

“Thirteen of the 14 cities in Fulton County exceeded the level of public health officials consider ‘High Community Spread.’ Therefore, schools and facilities in these jurisdictions will require masks effective Monday, Aug. 9,” FCS Communications said in an announcement on Aug. 5.

A complete list of affected schools will be updated weekly.

Sandy Springs schools where masks must be worn include:

·        Elementary Schools: Dunwoody Springs, Heards Ferry, High Point, Ison Springs, Lake Forest, Spalding Drive and Woodland.

·        Middle Schools: Ridgeview and Sandy Springs.

·        High Schools: North Springs and Riverwood.

The North Learning Center at 450 Northridge Parkway in Sandy Springs and all other FCS administrative buildings also will require masks.

Any student riding in a school bus already was required to wear a mask during each trip, as the federal government requires masks on all public transportation.

Employees, students and visitors will be provided masks by the school district that meet criteria established by the CDC to include N95, KN95, multi-layered cloth washable and approved disposable masks.

Students, teachers and staff are required to report a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, a pending test result and direct contact with a person who tested positive.

Looney announced the expansion of enrollment at FAVE, the school district’s new virtual school, by 500 with a total of 1,500 seats for students in grades 3-11.

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers.