HCSD COVID Update – 08/19/21
HCSD COVID Update, 8/19/2021
- Vaccines keep adults alive. We encourage all medically able individuals to consider vaccination with their health care provider. At our 8/23/2021 meeting, I will be recommending to our board of education that we provide a one-time $400 supplement to all HCSD employees who show proof of being fully COVID vaccinated prior to October 15, 2021.
- Georgia hospitals have 50 pediatric COVID cases, an increase of 22 cases in recent weeks (source AJC article, 8/18/2021); we have between 1.8-2 million school age children in Georgia.
- Anxiety, depression, and mental illness rates have risen dramatically since the pandemic began. Our HCSD parent data suggests that mitigation strategies (masks, quarantine, social distancing, capacity limits, etc.) have been a negative factor for 46% of our families, and a positive factor for 21% of our families. (Source HCSD parent survey)
- We estimate that we lost 40-70 students who dropped out of school last year that would normally have graduated; this would translate to 3,000-4,000 students across Georgia. (HCSD has approximately 1.6% of Georgia student population)
- Randomized Clinical Trials to test the effectiveness of wearing masks do not yet exist; we do have case studies that suggest masking slows transmission rates. That has also been our local experience.
- While not a clinical trial, we look at mid-sized districts in Georgia to ascertain positive COVID cases with masking and without masking. Examples:
- District A: 12,000 students, masks required, 100 positive cases
- District B: 22,000 students, masks required, 214 positive cases
- Hall County Schools: 27,000 students, masks recommended, 229 positive cases
- As of yesterday, a DPH representative again confirmed that at this time, there is no evidence that school-aged children have been significant sources of COVID transmission. A noon webinar with CHOA today also expressed school-age transmission is coming from community.
- Local pediatricians and our hospital system are experiencing an increase in the number of children with more severe COVID symptoms.
- Hall County COVID Data since pandemic began:
- Age 5-9
- 5 hospitalizations, 0 deaths
- Age 10-17
- 33 hospitalizations, 0 deaths
- Age 5-9
We continue to monitor conditions multiple times throughout each day and will make adjustments as conditions change or as new information is made available.