The head of the American Academy of Pediatrics says she’d like to see lower rates of coronavirus infection in metro Atlanta before public school districts consider in-person classes.
In recent weeks, a number of the state’s largest districts–Gwinnett, Fulton, and DeKalb among them–have decided to start the upcoming school year virtually with plans to eventually return students to classrooms.
“I think we have to have our community spread down lower than it is right now,” said Dr. Sara Goza, who leads the national pediatricians’ group and practices in Fayetteville, Georgia. “I think we have to know that the incidence of COVID-19 in Georgia is going down, at least in your community.
In late June, the AAP issued guidance for reopening schools for in-person learning that featured dozens of recommendations for starting instruction safely in the midst of the pandemic.
That was just a few weeks before President Donald Trump said he’d put pressure on states to reopen classrooms. In recent days, he’s tempered his earlier comments.
The AAP has also had to clarify their initial guidance on school’s reopening, saying in a statement released in early July that “we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff. Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools.”
The group also called for more federal investment to ensure schools have the resources to buy supplies such as personal protective equipment and institute safety protocols that allow for appropriate physical distancing.
Goza also says work needs to happen outside of schools to drive down new infections and make it possible for children to return to the classroom.
“We also need to be working on decreasing our community spread,” she said. “And that’s really on the parents to do that, the adults in the communities to do that, so we can do what we need to do to prioritize our children and their education.”
Macon Mayor Vetoes Mask Ordinance
The Mayor of Macon vetoed an ordinance requiring face coverings throughout Macon-Bibb County.
In a letter to commissioners Monday, Mayor Robert Reichert said he didn’t want to join the list of cities challenging Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp by enacting mask orders.
The governor’s executive order bans municipalities from enacting their own face-covering ordinances.
Braves Set For Home Game As MLB Season In Question
For the first time in nine months, the Atlanta Braves play a home game Wednesday.
The team’s Truist Park debut comes as COVID-19 threatens to disrupt the baseball season again.
The last time the Braves played a game that counted at their home ballpark was Game 5 of their playoff series with the Cardinals last October.
So much has changed since then – the stadium has been re-named and a global pandemic caused a three-month delay to the start of the season.
The coronavirus means there will be no fans in the stadium to welcome the Braves back.
And an outbreak of Covid-19 cases amongst Miami Marlins players has league officials pondering how long the shortened season can safely go on. The Marlins were in Atlanta just last week for an exhibition game.
First pitch Wednesday between the Braves and Tampa Bay is set for 7:10 p.m.
Jon Ossoff Tests Negative
Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff says he has received his COVID-19 test results, and they are negative.
Ossoff’s wife, Dr. Alisha Kramer, tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
In a Monday statement, Ossoff says his wife is quote “still doing OK. Today she’s even been able to remotely consult some patients.”
Herman Cain Still Hospitalized
Herman Cain, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, is in a Georgia hospital one month after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
In a tweet Monday, his staff said, quote ” he is being treated in the hospital for his lungs. Re-strengthening the lungs is a long and slow process, and the doctors want to be thorough about it.”
Cain tested positive for the virus last month, according to a statement on his Twitter account.