DeKalb mom says school wouldn’t give daughter a face mask, left her out in the cold

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Many parents in DeKalb County say they have issues with the way the school district is handling the omicron variant of COVID-19.

One woman says her daughter was locked out in the cold because she forgot to bring a face mask to school.

Mother Tabreshia Perry told Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes that her daughter showed up to Cedar Grove High School without her mask. Despite there being a box of disposable masks at the front door, school administrators would not give one to her daughter and would not let her inside the building, she says.

“You don’t have a mask, you can’t come in, and they ultimately leave them outside,” Perry said.

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Perry says DeKalb County Schools received thousands of dollars in CARES Act money for COVID-19 equipment like masks, so she was furious when her daughter was denied one.

“There’s no reason why I should be getting a call from my daughter saying, ‘Look, you have to come back and pick me up,’” she said.

District administrators told Fernandes that Cedar Grove High School staff have given out more than 5,000 masks to students who didn’t have them. They added that masks are supposed to be given to all students when they need one.

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In the Georgia Department of Public Health’s monthly meeting held Tuesday, health officials said that masks remain critical to prevent the spread of the omicron variant.

“I’m just being very straightforward, in 40 years of public health, I’ve never seen anything this transmissible and spread this quickly as omicron has,” Dr. Kathleen Toomey said. “We have to make every effort possible to ensure that children can safely remain in schools.”

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State health officials also discussed allowing teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to come back to school in half of the time previously required for them to isolate.

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