ATLANTA (CBS46) -- Georgia Governor Brian Kemp reiterated Monday the state will not shut down. And even as the Department of Health reports record highs of covid cases among children, Kemp said he will not impose a state level mask or vaccine mandate across schools.
According to the most recent averages of covid cases, the daily totals among juveniles are at the highest they've been since the start of the pandemic. The age group, 10 to 17 years old sits at the highest daily cases. The numbers leaving students and parents concerned.
"It hurts to hear your child come and say, 'mom, I'm not eating lunch because I'm too afraid to take my mask off. There are so many kids in the cafeteria,'" Creekside High School parent Quanda King told CBS46.
King shared a photo snapped by her daughter in the hallways last week. It shows little social distancing and what the mom calls lack of enforcement. She fearing the worst as she and other parents just received a letter from the school informing them of new positive cases. The letter did not specify how many.
"I asked my daughter were they social distancing, she said 'there's no way we can social distance.'"
Fulton County Schools say administration officials are doing the best they can but they need everyone to do their own part.
Adding, they are working to stagger the bell times to avoid the crowds. The district sent us this statement:
Face-to-face instruction is important for our community, and the staff at Creekside High School are striving to provide the safest learning environment possible. Staff are monitoring throughout the day, reminding students of CDC and public health guidelines, and encouraging everyone to wear their masks correctly and follow appropriate physical (social) distancing.
Students are redirected when not wearing their masks correctly and provided a masks if they come without one. Bell times are being reviewed to determine the implementation of a staggered release of classes. An additional lunch was created to reduce numbers in the cafeteria during lunch.
We will continue to look at ways to improve, but we need everyone to do their part. We ask our students, staff and community to work together and keep each other safe.
In a Monday press conference, Gov. Kemp maintained he will not be issuing state level mandates for schools.
"Letting schools deal with that individual situation they have is better than a one-size-fits all." He continued, "I don't think anymore guidance or any restrictions, I actually think that would be counterproductive.
I had a first grade teacher that told me on a visit last week, 'please do not shut down our schools.'"
But it comes as the Georgia Department of Health reports its highest daily cases among children since the start of the pandemic. State officials citing the Delta variant as 90 percent of new cases.
As cases surge across classrooms, some even struggling to remain open, Kemp argued the best option for him would be to just support the superintendent
and local school leaders' decision for their students.
"The best approach is a local one," he repeated.
Kemp encouraged all state employees, including teachers, to consider getting vaccinated before Sept. 3rd.