More than 260 students and eight teachers have been quarantined in Atlanta, Georgia after some students tested positive to coronavirus in one school. The students and teachers were isolated within the first week of school after the students were exposed to COVID-19. The students and teachers were from elementary, middle, and high schools in the Cherokee County School District.
Following the order to quarantine, the affected students will continue their academics online from their respective homes. The schools in the district resumed last week on August 3 and the coronavirus infection among some of the students is further testament across several quarters that school reopening is a little early judging that the pandemic is still surging through the entire country.
The school superintendent in the Cherokee County School District, Dr. Brian V. Hightower, dispatched a letter to parents and other schools in the region notifying them of the situation.
“We have students and staff reporting presumptive, pending, and positive COVID-19 tests every day, and this will continue as we operate schools during a pandemic,” Hightower wrote. “We are working with the Department of Public Health to confirm, contact trace, quarantine, and then notify the school community.”
He said the school community and parents will be carried along as information emerges with the students and staff on quarantine and if there are any more new cases. He agreed that reopening schools at the moment is a very sensitive issue in the country and the media is following every reopening with keen interest, “we know we’re under a microscope,” he said.
With a population of about 258,000 people, Cherokee County reopened schools last Monday and launched a new Digital Learning program that students can adopt for the new school year. According to Hightower, students were asked to wear face masks in situations where social distance cannot be maintained, and that parents must keep their wards at home if they fall sick. “We need to social distance whenever we can, and always wear masks when we cannot,” he advised.
In New York City, school officials have released a 109-page proposal detailing how schools will be reopened and the necessity of COVID-19 tests for teachers and students on a rolling basis. According to the plans, anyone whose temperature is above 100 degrees will not be allowed to enter the school building and both staff and students will be tested at random each day of attending school.
Students in NYC will be isolated on testing positive and all students in classes attended by those who travel between classes will also be quarantined until they test negative to the disease. Students who are quarantined will continue their education online, and they will only be allowed back in school after a doctor certifies that they are free of the disease and without symptoms and the use of medication for 24 hours prior.