As school districts push through with their reopening plans, they face rising COVID-19 cases among staff and students.
Georgia’s largest school district, Gwinett County School District (GCPS), confirmed that about 260 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to the virus. The school district is set to reopen with online learning on August 12, after recently deciding to cancel their plans to offer in-person instruction to students.
Currently, Gwinnett County has the second-highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the state, with 17,781 confirmed cases, CNN reports. Despite the high rates, parents of GCPS students staged a protest to demand schools to reopen just last week.
While Georgia’s GCPS saw confirmed cases without reopening school doors, in Indiana schools are reporting COVID cases among students returning to in-person instruction.
COVID-Positive Student Attends Classes
Last Thursday, an Indiana school districted welcomed students back to in-person classes. While class was in progress, Greenfield-Central Junior High School was alerted that a student tested positive for coronavirus and was attending classes that day. The student had taken a test a few days prior and was waiting for results, CNN reports.
Once alerted, their school began its “Positive COVID-19 Test Protocol.” The student was isolated in the school’s clinic and officials examined the student’s schedule to identify who the student came into contact with.
Despite the single case, the school still welcomed students back to campus this week, citing no new cases and reassuring parents they were following safety protocol.
“Not exactly the start we were looking for in that specific school,” Superintendent Harold Olin said, according to CNN. “We will continue to control the variables we can control. We need families to control the variable they can control, which is the self-screening piece.”
Other Indiana schools are seeing confirmed coronavirus cases early on in the school year. An infected staff member at the Elwood Junior-Senior High School came into contact with several employees, but no students. As a result, this week’s classes were moved to online while the campus could be disinfected.
A football player at New Palestine High School in New Palestine tested positive last week. Like Greenfield-Central Junior High, the school resumed classes this week after following sanitation and contact tracing protocols.