Surge in COVID-19 cases prompts county mask requirements to return

Map and chart showing COVID-19 cases in Georgia as of January 4, 2022 (Georgia DPH photos)

A surge in COVID-19 cases has prompted Henry County Government and Henry County Schools to re-implement mask requirements inside buildings to begin the new year. The school district’s second semester starts next Monday, January 10, 2022.

COVID-19 Cases

On Tuesday, January 4, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 55,973 new cases of COVID-19 across the state. The nearly 56k cases reflect new reports between Friday, December 31, and Tuesday, Jan. 4. The state’s status report was not updated on Monday because of a large influx of new data.

Over the last two weeks, the state has seen 159,155 new reported cases. Case reports are presently at their highest rate than any other time in the pandemic. Within Henry County, there were 5,843 cases during the past 14 days. This amounts to 2,436 new cases per 100k population. By comparison, the new case rate was 95 cases per 100k on December 6.

Mask Requirements

Henry County Schools communicated on Monday, January 3, the district will move to level 4 in its COVID-19 mitigation plan to start the second semester. Level 4 requires masks inside when students and teachers are unable to “responsibly distance.”

Level 4 also reduces capacity for both indoor and outdoor events, pauses community use of school facilities and pauses field trips. The district ended the fall semester on level 2.

Level 4 allows Henry County Schools to remain open for in-person instruction. Several other nearby districts began the second semester through virtual learning only.

Shortly after the school district, Henry County Government also communicated a return to masks inside county buildings. The county last required masks starting in August before rescinding the requirement in December. The board of commissioners has their first board meeting of 2022 on Wednesday morning.

Featured image shows COVID-19 case status as January 4, 2022. Photos credit Georgia DPH.

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Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of Moving Henry Forward Community News. The website provides local news coverage in Henry County, Georgia.