Georgia county shuts down all of its schools for two weeks after mass COVID-19 outbreak
Children Wash Hands at School (FREDERICK FLORIN AFP)

The start of school in one Georgia county has already been put on hold.

Local news station News 4 Jax reports that Georgia's Ware County has shut down all 11 of its public schools for at least the next two weeks following what administrators described as a "sharp increase" in COVID-19 cases in both staff and students.

While there will be some digital instruction that will take place for students at home during the closures, all extracurricular sports and activities will be put on hold.

"As of Friday, the school district there were 76 students with a positive case who have attended school during the exposure period and another 679 students who have been quarantined out of 5,900 total students," writes News 4 Jax. "Out of 950 school employees, 67 are currently positive with the virus and another 150 have been quarantined."

According to data published by the New York Times, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ware County have surged by more than 180 percent over the past two weeks, while new COVID-19 cases have shot up to highs not seen since this past winter.

The state of Georgia also has a low vaccination rate, as just 39.4 percent of residents in the state are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.