“We’re seeing a significant number of cases among school-aged children, and the number of cases has nearly quadrupled over the last couple of weeks, with the sharpest increase, the highest number of cases, in children aged 11 to 17,” Toomey said.
She said public health officials tracked more than 170 outbreaks statewide last week, the highest number since the pandemic began, with more than half of them in schools.
“So schools are a site of where there is transmission going on,” Toomey said.
More than half of Georgia’s students are now under a mask mandate, according to announcements tracked by The Associated Press, but state officials have left it local officials to decide.
The number of people hospitalized statewide with the respiratory illness approached 5,700 Tuesday, just below the all-time record.
Some hospitals are already seeing record numbers. Dr. Alan Scott, emergency room director at East Georgia Regional Medical Center in Statesboro, joined other hospital leaders in asking people to come to a hospital only for true emergencies.
“We’re utilizing hallways. We’re using service areas. We’re using waiting rooms that have been turned into triage areas. So we’re using every square inch of this hospital,” Scott told WTOC-TV.
Originally Appeared Here