North Georgia schools report significant increase in COVID-19 cases since Christmas

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / Walker County Schools Superintendent Damon Raines said the district has 120 positive student cases and 33 positive adult cases this week.

Schools across North Georgia are experiencing a post-holiday surge in positive COVID-19 cases for both students and staff.

Across the board, districts report higher rates of COVID-19 and staffing shortages caused by the number of teachers and substitute teachers testing positive for the virus.

In Murray County, the uptick in positive cases was enough to warrant transitioning to distance learning Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

(READ MORE: Georgia Department of Public Health warns against New Year's outings, encourages testing)

According to data published weekly to the Murray County Schools website, there have been more than 50 new student cases of COVID-19 this week and more than 20 new cases of COVID-19 among staff members.

The number of positive cases in nearby Whitfield County Schools was similarly high. For the week that ended Dec.