Evans County School System to delay the start of school due to COVID-19

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 8:58 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 2:40 PM EDT
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EVANS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Evans County School System announced the start of the school year will be delayed to Monday, August 9. In a Facebook post, the school district said “The decision came after Covid-19 status for the district was classified as a rapid transmission zone (red zone).”

The Evans County School System will require masks to be worn when school begins on August 9, and the mask mandate will remain in effect through “at least the remainder of August,” according to an email from District Superintendent Martin G. Waters sent on Wednesday. Schools will return to a five-day schedule on August 9.

In the email, Dr. Waters confirmed that 67 percent of school district employees are vaccinated as of Wednesday, August 4.

“While we all are excited to return to school and resume a normal routine, it is simply too risky to do so right now. We are hopeful to get back on August 9. If we are able to do so, it will be four weeks earlier than last fall,” said Dr. Waters in a statement.

On Facebook, the Evans County School System says athletic practices and competitions will continue, following all guidance and recommendations issued by the GHSA.

Dr. Waters says they are considering a hybrid model, but they really want students back face-to-face.

“We can address learning deficits and learning loss, but we can’t overcome loss of life. And we’re gonna do that and be conservative when it comes to safety, but we’re ready. We’re ready to start back,” said Dr. Waters.

The Evans County School System continues to encourage students and staff to follow best practices to limit the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and social distancing. Dr. Waters says school buildings and buses will be cleaned every day and buildings will be sanitized twice a week. The district will use guidance from the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health for quarantines.

The superintendent says they make all decisions in collaboration with healthcare providers. Administrative teams will continue to watch data and communicate through the weekend.

As of Wednesday, August 4, 31 percent of Evans County residents have been fully vaccinated, and 35 percent have received one dose, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Read the full Facebook post from the Evans County School System here:

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