Second grader tests positive for COVID after attending first day of school in Georgia
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Georgia -A second grader tested positive for novel coronavirus after attending the first day of school in Georgia, CNN reports.
Sixes Elementary in the Cherokee County School district began in-person classes Monday and by Tuesday, one classroom was temporarily closed for deep cleaning while the teacher and 20 other students had been asked to quarantine for two weeks. These measures were taken due to their contact with the second grader who tested positive for the virus.
As coronavirus continues to claim lives across the U.S., parents and officials have debated whether it's safe to send students back into classrooms. While health experts are still investigating how children spread the virus, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci has emphasized that schools need to include safety in their reopening plans.
Cherokee County recommends, but does not require, that children wear masks in school whenever social distancing is not possible, according to the school district's reopening plan. The district would only require students to wear masks if there was a statewide mandate in place.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has fought attempts by other officials to mandate mask use.
Multiple infection cases connected to schools have broken out in Georgia even as some schools opt for all-remote learning for the start of the year.
Since Marietta City Schools began preplanning on July 27, five employees have tested positive and another is presumed positive, Jen Brock, the system's executive director of communications told reporters.
The sick school employees work in the teaching, transportation, and janitorial arenas. The first day of school was Tuesday, but classes were all taught virtually, Brock said.
Earlier this week, around 260 employees were reported to have either tested positive or been exposed in Georgia's largest school district, Gwinnett County Public Schools.
"As of last Thursday, we had approximately 260 employees who had been excluded from work due to a positive case or contact with a case," GCPS spokeswoman Sloan Roach told reporters Sunday. "This number is fluid as we continue to have new reports and others who are returning to work," she added.
The district is set to reopen for online learning August 12.
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