The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is working closely with the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Department of Public Health (GaDPH), and other agencies to ensure local school districts, parents, and students have the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 (commonly called coronavirus). State School Superintendent Richard Woods is a member of Governor Brian Kemp’s Coronavirus Task Force, and GaDOE’s Office of School Climate and Safety is communicating daily with GaDPH and its Commissioner, Dr. Kathleen Toomey.
GaDOE has distributed detailed guidance to school districts on the preparations they should take to prepare for the potential spread of COVID-19, and is distributing the most up-to-date guidance from GaDPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it is released. Answers to other frequently asked questions are below.
- School closure information
- Recordings of webinars hosted for superintendents and district/school staff
Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 3/14/20)
Where can I find additional information and resources about COVID-19?
You can find the most up-to-date guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health at dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus
. You can find the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/coronavirus
. You can view information and updates from the Georgia Department of Education, including guidance released to schools, on this webpage.
What can my student and I do to stop the spread of COVID-19?
- Keep children who are sick at home. Don’t send them to school.
- Teach your children to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself.
- Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and immediately dispose of the tissue in a trashcan. Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself.
- Teach your children to stay at least three feet away from people who are sick.
- People who are sick should stay home from work or school and stay away from other people until they are better.
What should I do if my child exhibits symptoms?
Contact your doctor, a local public health clinic, or the local board of health. The Georgia Department of Public Health is currently advising that individuals who have traveled from affected countries/areas in the past 14 days and have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should seek medical care, and should contact their healthcare provider and inform them of their travel history before going in.
Will my child’s school close?
Local school systems have already implemented some closures to deal with presumed positive and confirmed cases of COVID-19. During a press conference and subsequent call with local school superintendents on March 12, Governor Brian Kemp made it clear that day cares, schools, and school districts have the freedom to implement further closures as early as Friday, March 13, for the next two weeks. We are directing districts to stay in close communication with their local boards of health and the Governor's Office, Georgia Department of Education, and Georgia Department of Public Health. A list of current school closures is available here.
What will the Georgia Department of Education do to help students continue learning if schools close?
School districts across Georgia have been preparing for potential closures for several weeks. GaDOE advised districts to develop a plan to continue student learning should they need to close, using resources such as study packets, cable access, virtual school/online classes, etc. GaDOE’s Office of Teaching and Learning has compiled virtual educational resources that will be provided to support schools’ efforts. We are also working with partners to develop additional resources. Click
here to access these resources; this page will be continually updated.
What will happen for students who rely on school meals if schools close?
We know food insecurity for students who rely on school meals is a major concern if extended school closures become necessary. GaDOE has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for alternate meal service flexibility in the case of extended closures. This will allow schools to serve students meals through USDA-approved meal service options, at approved sites within the community. Click here for more information.