Georgia County Closes Third School amid Coronavirus Outbreak as 500 Students Are Quarantined

A Georgia school district has announced that a third high school will be temporarily closed due to a coronavirus outbreak.

The Cherokee County School District announced on Sunday that Creekview High School would close through the end of August after having reported 25 positive COVID-19 cases. Additionally, 500 of the 1,800 students who had opted for in-person learning were put under a “precautionary quarantine.”

The school district went on to note that additional test results may “significantly increase the quarantine total.”

The school will undergo a deep cleaning and teachers are expected to return to the school on Tuesday, when classes, which will all be conducted online, will resume.

Although the district encourages students to wear masks at school, the use of protective face coverings is not currently required. Georgia does not have a state mandate.

Superintendent Brian Hightower has also recommended that students wear masks, noting that while “all parents do not believe the scientific research that indicates masks are beneficial” they are “an important measure to help us keep schools open.”

Creekview is the third high school to close in the district within two weeks of returning to classrooms earlier this month.

The closure of Etowah High was announced last Tuesday after 14 positive coronavirus cases were identified, with an additional 15 tests pending and 294 students and staff put under quarantine.

That number has since grown to 29 confirmed cases, with 359 students and staff under quarantine, according to a district list. Woodstock High, which has also been closed, has 16 confirmed cases and 331 students and staff under quarantine.

So far, more than 1,900 students and staff are in quarantine across the district.

All three schools are currently expected to reopen on August 31.

Earlier this month, one day after schools reopened in the district, an elementary school student tested positive for COVID-19.

News of the confirmed case occurred one day after Georgia's largest school district, Gwinnett County Public Schools, reported that around 260 employees have either tested positive or been exposed to the virus.

Additionally, after footage went viral on social media of mask-less students not following social distance rules in the hallways at another local high school in the Paulding County School District, six students and three staff members tested positive for COVID-19, according to a letter sent to parents obtained by ABC News.

This week, the district reported 27 new cases, according to information shared on its website.

As of Monday, Georgia has had at least 220,165 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 4,600 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

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