Aug 10, 2020 - Health

Georgia governor: It's up to schools to enforce wearing masks

Brian Kemp puts a mask over his face

Gov. Brian Kemp at a press conference on Aug. 10. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday said the responsibility should be on schools to enforce a mandate on face coverings, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.

Why it matters: Georgia is reporting the fifth-most coronavirus cases in the country, per Johns Hopkins, and the risk of spread in the state is high.

What he's saying: "We’ve given the responsibility to the schools, to the local superintendents,” Kemp told reporters on Monday. "Like most things in education, I'm a firm believer that the local governments know their schools better than the state government does."

  • Kemp said he believed that schools reopening in the state "quite honestly this week went real well," aside from a handful of students and staff testing positive at North Paulding High School in the wake of a viral photo that showed a hallway packed with maskless students.

Zoom in: In the Cherokee County school district, over 400 K-12 students have been told to self-isolate for two weeks since Friday, after potentially coming into contact with students who tested positive.

  • In Gwinnett County, Georgia's largest school district, 260 employees have been similarly told to quarantine after testing positive or being exposed to someone else, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeper: 97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

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