Safety through Hybrid Learning and Mask Mandates for OCS of Georgia

Safety through Hybrid Learning and Mask Mandates for OCS of Georgia

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!
John Doe started this petition to Oconee County Schools Board of Education

Across the country, the effects of COVID-19 have been compounded in recent months. The pandemic has brought over 350 thousand deaths to the United States of America and almost ten thousand in the state of Georgia. The full effect of New Year’s gatherings has not been shown in case rate data, yet the Oconee County School system has students returning in person on January 5th. This is as Intensive care unit availability in hospitals hits an all time low and cases have compounded by 70% in the two weeks preceding New Year’s (per GA DPH). The Oconee County School system has done little to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the last semester and in the coming semester.


During the first semester of 2020-2021 school year, the Oconee County School District has done little to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Board of Education has neglected to put in place the necessary measures to effectively reduce case counts within the schools. Currently, masks are optional and infrequent and social distancing within classes is rendered nearly impossible. Teachers exposed to students with COVID-19 are not contact traced, even as CDC guidance maintains that it is possible for the teacher to need to quarantine. The district has used the outdated logic that teachers being a close contact of a student is impossible, as they should not be within six feet of a student for more than 15 consecutive minutes. However, current CDC guidance dictates that 15 total minutes within a 24 hour period makes one a close contact, directly contradicting the district’s claims. In addition, the district currently docks the pay of employees that are quarantining. Students learning is severely interrupted if they are contact traced. These effects can be limited through implementation of countermeasures by the district. 

 

The district has failed to take these necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As such, this petition simply asks the Oconee County Board of Education to put in place the simple measures required to slow the spread of COVID-19. The first of these measures is a hybrid approach to schooling. The distinct website states that the plan for hybrid approach will be utilized if the county shows significant spread. The county is showing significant spread. The hybrid approach will both allow for social distancing for the students and teachers, minimizing the need for contact tracing done by the schools. The continuity provided by a hybrid approach would also prevent interruptions in learning from students needing to quarantine. Secondly, we simply ask for the district to put in place a non-negotiable mask required policy. The efficacy of masks has been proven again and again. A leader in education, the Oconee County School system is one of the best public school systems in the state. Counties across the state have shifted to a fully online approach. However, we believe the county can set an example of healthy school by shifting to a hybrid approach with a mask mandate. The district’s disregard for public health can end with these two simple measures being put into place.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!