A Georgia school has reported several cases of coronavirus following a viral photo that shows a hallway crammed with students when classes resumed last week, while a separate school district reported 100 suspected cases among students and staff ahead of its online-only start date later this month.
In Paulding County, North Paulding High School Principal Gabe Carmona alerted parents that at least six students and three staff members who were physically at school last week have since tested positive for COVID-19, FOX5 Atlanta reported.
Photos of students walking through tightly packed hallways circulated online and raised questions about how to tackle the return to classrooms.
Meanwhile, Cobb County Schools said it will continue with online-only classes after the Georgia Department of Health alerted it to about the 100 potential cases, WSB-TV reported.
Those who test positive will be asked to quarantine for 10 days, and the state will follow contact tracing procedures. The district is not releasing information about each case to protect the individual’s privacy.
Cobb County Schools had earlier announced that all 113,000 students will start the year learning virtually when school begins Aug. 17. The decision has been met with backlash from parents who have protested to demand an in-person learning option.
The district has outlined a staggered return to classrooms, which will see elementary students return in Phase 1, followed by middle school students in Phase 2 and students in high school for Phase 3.
Paulding County has 1,651 confirmed coronavirus cases and 22 deaths. Cobb County has seen 13,336 confirmed cases and 318 deaths.
The totals in Georgia stand at 213,427 confirmed cases and 4,186 deaths.