Georgia High School With Packed Hallways Goes Virtual After COVID-19 Cases

A Georgia high school that became the center of national attention after students shared photos of crowded hallways on their first day back will be closed because nine people tested positive for the coronavirus. Officials with North Paulding High School announced that the school would temporarily transition to distance learning after six students and three staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Paulding County Schools Superintendent Brian Otott sent a letter to parents saying that the school would be closed for two days while the building is "thoroughly cleaned and disinfected." The plan is to keep the school shut down until Wednesday (August 12), but Otott said officials could extend the closure if more cases are reported.

"I apologize for any inconvenience this schedule change may cause, but hopefully we all can agree that the health and safety of our students and staff takes precedence over any other considerations at this time," Otott wrote.

He said that anyone who has been in close contact with somebody who has the virus must self-isolate for 14 days before they can return school.

School officials suspended the students who posted the photos online and warned other students they could face discipline if they criticized the school's coronavirus policies on social media. After a public outcry, the school reversed its decision to punish the students who spoke out.

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