I guess we are Russia now.

Courtesy of AJC:

Georgia health officials have decided to withhold information about coronavirus infections at each school, saying the public has no legal right to information about outbreaks that the state is investigating.

The Georgia Department of Public Health started requiring weekly reports from the schools last month and initially said it might share the information with the public. The decision not to reveal the number of COVID-19 case counts and related quarantines and “clusters” means the only recourse for parents and teachers trying to gauge the risk is the willingness of their local school system to publicize its own data.

Some school districts in Georgia are not revealing what is going on in each of their schools, though. If they do disclose anything, it is often districtwide numbers that make it difficult to discern the risk within each school.

Indeed, lack of school compliance is one reason the Georgia Department of Public Health gave for withholding the data. About 70% of public schools have complied with the agency’s request for weekly reports from each school, so about 700 of Georgia’s 2,300 schools are not reporting to the state’s new data portal, though the agency says it is mandatory.

Not only has the agency declined to publish what school information it could gather since it started collecting the numbers directly from each school, but it cited a legal exemption for data collected as part of “an outbreak or cluster investigation” when it declined to release the information to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after a request under the state open records law.

In mid-September, the agency agreed to produce the data, but this week reversed itself, suggesting that it feared schools would not report to the state if the state then made their data public: “The Department is concerned about possible non-cooperation of schools in reporting data and has decided to maintain the confidentiality of the weekly COVID-19 school reports,” the agency’s open records denial says.

Hiding this information from the parents is a crime in my opinion. 

Parents have a right to know of their child’s learning environment is safe and keeping this data secret is essentially admitting that it is not. 

Currently, Georgia is in the top five states with the most infections and they are counting around a thousand new cases a day. 

Now I am beginning to wonder if that information is valid, and what other numbers they might be hiding. 

I also seriously doubt that they are alone in suppressing the number of new cases.