A Georgia high school that came under scrutiny after photos of crowded hallways with unmasked students circulated on social media will now return to online learning, at least for the next two days, after nine people tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the North Paulding High School will be closed on Monday and Tuesday so that the building can be “thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.”
“The district will consult with the Department of Public Health to assess the environment and determine if there [are] any additional close contacts for confirmed cases who have not already been identified,” Paulding Superintendent Brian Otott noted in a letter to parents.
The school has not confirmed if the building will reopen on Wednesday, with Otott saying that parents will be advised on Tuesday evening.
“I apologize for any inconvenience this schedule change may cause, but hopefully we all can agree that the health and safety of our students and staff takes precedence over any other considerations at this time,” he wrote.
The school, which reopened last week, confirmed that six students and three staff members who were in school had tested positive for COVID-19. This only prompted further scrutiny toward the school, which quickly caught national headlines after photos of crowded hallways and unmasked students went viral across social media.
Two students were suspended in connection, prompting further outrage that caused the district to lift the suspensions by the end of the week.
Paulding County isn’t the only school district in Georgia that has had issues. Also last week, Georgia’s largest school district, the Gwinnett County Public Schools, reported that roughly 260 employees have either tested positive or have been exposed to the coronavirus, prompting the district to delay reopenings.