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'Super-spreader event' | Cobb County parent says family caught COVID at school orientation

The family of five all contracted COVID-19, including the parents and oldest child who are all vaccinated | "Delta doesn't seem to care if you're vaccinated or not."

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Georgia has passed 1 million total cases of COVID-19. That's about 9% of the state's population. The Peach State data shows that officials are starting to see these cases in children more often, especially as the vaccine isn't approved for children under the age of 12.

That was the experience for the Efrat family. The first day of school for them was spent behind closed doors, quarantining after the family of five tested positive for COVID-19.

"I didn't know that the first day my daughter walked into her school building she would catch COVID. It was my fear that it would happen," said the mother of three Stacy Efran. "I was just so upset. I was worried about her getting sick, severely sick, I was worried about that spreading to my other children and myself and my husband." 

Stacy has three kids, all in Cobb County schools: 14-year-old Ethan who is a 9th grader at Walton High School, 11-year-old Maya who is a 6th grader at Dodgen Middle School, and 7-year-old Jake who is a 1st grader at East Side Elementary.

Credit: Provided.

She explained that her daughter, Maya, started feeling sick a couple of days after her back-to-school orientation.

"The orientation was the highest risk place we had been in weeks," she said. "At each orientation, I thought to myself, I am at a super spreader event because classrooms were packed. I would say 70% of everyone in each school had no mask on. We had done everything we could ... even wore K95 masks that day to orientation."

A COVID-19 test turned her greatest fear into reality. After Maya's test, Stacy got tested, too, only to find out she also had the virus.

"When [Maya] got the test, she just burst into tears because she was devastated that she'd have to miss the first two weeks of middle school that she had been so excited about," she added.

The same results followed for the rest of the family, including Stacy's husband and Ethan, who are all vaccinated.

"Delta doesn't seem to care if you're vaccinated or not," she said. "I do believe that being vaccinated has helped my family tremendously with minimal symptoms. We've been so lucky." 

While Maya's quarantine is officially finished, Stacy's nightmare is far from over. She said that since the four days her daughter has gone back to school, the district has already sent her notices saying Maya has been exposed to the virus not once, but twice.

As of Tuesday, there were four active cases in Maya's middle school, according to the district's website. According to the district, there have been 822 positive cases from July 1st to Aug. 13. That information is provided every Friday.

"As long as you have no symptoms, you can keep coming back to school and wear a mask for 10 days. It just blows my mind that our superintendent is just letting COVID run rampant through our schools and child after child are falling sick," she added.

Stacy's sons are still quarantining. She said another concern of hers is that there's no clear instruction plan or virtual learning option for children who have to quarantine.

The Cobb County School District provided the following statement:

"In accordance with a recently issued administrative order by the GADPH, Cobb's updated Public Health Protocols are intended to balance the importance of in-person learning and the frequent changes associated with COVID-19, along with the concerns from our community. As our protocols indicate, CCSD strongly encourages everyone in our community to wear masks, but we also believe that our families have the right to make decisions that work best for them."