ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The State Health Department reports more than 2,000 COVID-19 infections in just the last week for children under 17.

The State’s public health commissioner says nearly 99% of all new cases are the Delta variant with high transmission in all 159 counties in Georgia, and is urging everyone older than 12+ to get vaccinated.

Georgia’s department of health says the state has recently seen 170+outbreaks with more than half in K-12 schools.

DR. Kathleen Toomey, Department of Health, Public Commissioner said, “We are seeing a significant number of cases among school aged children and those have quadrupled over the last several weeks. The sharpest increase is in children 11-17.”

New data from the CDC shows the number of weekly cases among kids had surged with infection rates for 5-17 year old’s comparable to those 18-49.

“I think children are getting infected and being transmitted among the family members so children can transmit and are becoming infected,” said Dr. Toomey.

While the state has no mask mandate, Governor Kemp is leaving it up to each school district to decide on best practices.

Dr. Toomey said, “The schools are a site of covid-19 transmission and we are working with the superintendents to address the issues.”

State health data shows 18% of 12-14 years are vaccinated, while 41% of teens between 15-19 years old have received the shot.

The CDC and State Health Department recommend indoor masks for all students, staff, teachers and visitors in K-12 schools regardless of vaccination status, and say masks help reduce outbreaks.

Health experts recommend teachers to stagger desks, increase air ventilation, follow all mask guidelines to mitigate COVID-19 outbreaks in classrooms.

The Health Department says Georgia has about a 17% positive rate, 43% of Georgians are fully vaccinated while 51% have received one dose.