925 Georgia students quarantined one week into school opening

    925 students at a Georgia school district have been ordered into quarantine after an outbreak at a Cherokee County school less than one week into reopening.

    Superintendent Hightower – I wear a mask.

    “When we announced plans to reopen schools with options of in-person learning and Digital Learning at home, we made clear the challenges that came along with this choice for our families,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower.

    “With a commitment from 77% of our students’ families to return to school in-person, we opened our doors on Aug. 3 and welcomed more than 30,000 students back for learning, reconnecting with teachers and staff and friends, and a sense of normalcy absent for five long months.”

    “Since we’ve reopened, and as of this morning, there have been 59 positive COVID-19 tests confirmed among our students and staff, which have led us to mandate two-week quarantines for 925 students and staff.  

    “We are not hesitating to quarantine students and staff who have had possible exposure – even if the positive test was prompted by possible exposure rather than symptoms, as all positive cases can lead to the infection of others,” Hightower said about the huge setback.

    “We are temporarily closing in-person learning at Etowah High School effective at the end of classes today (Aug. 11, 2020).  

    “It is our hope to restart in-person classes at Etowah HS on Monday, Aug. 31.  

    “This decision was not made lightly; it was made with the support of School Board Members, and was determined, as all of our quarantine decisions are made, in consideration with the Department of Public Health.  

    “What does this mean for Etowah HS students?  All Etowah HS in-person students will stay home from school until the scheduled reopening on Monday, Aug. 31.  

    “We ask for students and their parents to be patient, as they were in the spring, while our teachers spend Wednesday shifting to remote learning.  We will deep clean the building on Wednesday, and remote learning, through the Canvas learning management system, will begin on Thursday, Aug. 13.  Teachers will report to school on Thursday to begin providing instruction to their students through Canvas.  

    “What does this mean for all other CCSD students?  We ask all students, staff and families to please continue to social distance and use masks when social distancing is not possible.  

    HightowerIt is warning that quarantines will likely happen in other schools too.

    “As your Superintendent, I wear a mask whenever I cannot social distance.  We know all parents do not believe the scientific research that indicates masks are beneficial, but I believe it and see masks as an important measure to help us keep schools open.”