Georgia governor says reopening schools 'went real well'

Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempThe politically neglected minority: Asian Americans and COVID-19 Trump administration moves to exempt teachers from quarantine requirements The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump goes birther again; no deal on COVID-19 package MORE (R) said Monday that reopening schools in the state last week “went real well” except for photos shared online showing crowded hallways.

The Georgia governor praised the schools that reopened last week for in-person instruction during a Monday press briefing and said he’s been in “constant communication” with educational leaders. 

“I think quite honestly this week went real well other than a couple of virtual photos,” he said. “But the attitude from what they’re telling me was good.”

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Kemp acknowledged that “there’s definitely going to be issues when you open anything,” including COVID-19 cases. But, he added, that’s why testing and supplying schools with masks and cleaning equipment are important.

The governor’s comments come after a Georgia high school reportedly suspended two students for sharing photos of hallways packed with students, many not wearing masks. One of the students, who posted photos and tallies of how many classmates were wearing masks, said that her punishment was later lifted.

The school, North Paulding High School, announced on Sunday it would temporarily close on Monday and Tuesday after at least six students and three staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

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At least 12 students and two staff members from about a dozen schools in Cherokee County have also tested positive, prompting the school system to send more than 250 students who were potentially exposed to quarantine for 14 days, The Associated Press reported

Kemp reported that the state was “seeing the curve flatten on new cases” during the press briefing after rising throughout June and July. 

The New York Times categorizes Georgia’s new case trend as “mostly the same” instead of increasing or decreasing, as the state has a seven-day average of 3,227 new cases per day. 

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome AdamsJerome AdamsTop health officials pledge to keep politics out of COVID-19 vaccine process The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Facebook — Trump, Biden duel in final stretch | Vaccine trial on pause after recipient's 'potentially unexplained illness' | Biden visits Michigan | Trump campaign has 18 events in 11 states planned in the next week Watch live: Senate hearing on vaccines MORE joined Kemp for the press conference and said people “don’t have to wait until we get a vaccine.”

“To the kids in schools, I want you to understand, if you want prom in person next year, if you want to go to spring break, if you want an in-person graduation, then we need you to work together,” he said.