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Jones County Schools says COVID-19 cases have 'increased greatly since the first day of school'

The school system announced 26 positive COVID cases after its first week of school

JONES COUNTY, Ga. — As concerns about COVID-19 in the classroom continue to grow, some parents in Jones County are worried.

On Monday, Jones County Schools sent out an email telling parents that they've recorded almost 30 positive cases since the start of school last week.

“It's a concern because they've increased greatly since the first day of school and we're only four, five days in,” parent Jodi Jones said.

Jones County is not requiring masks for students or staff, and some parents like Jones say that's a problem. She says masks are so uncommon that another child told her first-grader something she could not believe.

"She wore hers the first day and was told the virus wasn’t real," she laughed.

Now, Jones is even more concerned.

"The email is scary and I just don’t see them really enforcing masks because they’re not doing it. Nobody’s wearing one and I’m trying to figure out why. We all went through this a year ago," Jones said.

The school system has a "pandemic response plan," a 10-page guide highlighting screenings, transportation, prevention, and what would happen if a student contracted the virus.

It says that masks are "encouraged" and that the school would provide them if needed.

But Dawn Key, a grandparent to three Jones county students, says there needs to be more.

"I would personally like more information on what they’re doing to prevent this from happening. How are they handling the masking in the schools?” Key said.

Jones says her daughters education shouldn't be jeopardized due to her concerns.

"I shouldn't be told, 'You should have your kid homeschooled if you're that concerned about it.' No, I shouldn't. My kid has a right to be at your school like everybody else does," she said.

This morning, neighboring Baldwin County became the latest district to require masks for students and staff due to high transmission of COVID-19 in the community.

Some of the others mandating masks now include Bibb, Twiggs, Laurens, and Dublin schools.

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