Newton County

Elementary student tests positive for monkeypox; 2nd student being tested, district says

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — New numbers from the Georgia Department of Public Health show there are three pediatric monkeypox cases across the state, and one Metro Atlanta county school district confirms one of them is an elementary school student in Mansfield about 10 miles southeast of Covington.

After receiving information from the Gwinnett-Newton-Rockdale Health Department, the Newton County School District confirmed it has one student at Mansfield Elementary with monkeypox and another suspected case at Flint Hill Elementary School in Oxford.

Department of Health officials are still awaiting test results from that second student. Because of privacy laws, the district could not release any other information about the students.

“School district officials notified parents at both schools via School Messenger call, and parents of students considered to be close contacts in accordance with CDC criteria will receive separate communications advising them of next steps,” the district wrote in a statement.

The district cannot release information on individual students.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot was in was in Newton County Wednesday, where school officials said they are thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting classrooms and other areas at both schools.

“I just got the call yesterday from the schoolhouse,” said Paige Davis, a mother of three students at Flint Hill. “Scary. Very scary. Actually, I kept my oldest daughter out of school the first year that COVID was here.”


Davis said that, for now, she trusts the school district’s response. Partee said the fact that Newton County Schools has had to deal with 2 1/2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic actually made them better able to respond to monkeypox.

“We had a health and safety team in place, so we just hit the ground running yesterday when we received this news,” Partee said.

After the cleaning, both Mansfield and Flint Hill were open Wednesday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the monkeypox virus can spread from person to person through direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs or body fluids.

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox can be infected.