• School district superintendent said parents will be notified when students can return to school 
  • North Paulding High School principal said six students and three school personnel tested positive for COVID-19
  • The school was in the national headlines after photos showing students crowding halls without masks or social distancing circulated on social media

A North Paulding High School in Georgia announced it will temporarily shut its doors after several students and faculty reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

In a letter sent to the parents, Paulding County School District superintendent Dr. Brian Otott said the North Paulding High School will temporarily shift from in-person instruction to online learning from Monday, Aug. 10, and Tuesday. The letter was shared with the public by Chris Jose, a journalist for WSB-TV, an ABC-affiliated TV station.

This developed amid reports of nine students and faculty contracting the deadly bug, The Hill reported. In the letter, Otott said they arrived at the decision after they were informed about the new cases of COVID-19 at the high school, which recently reopened and resumed in-person classes.

Georgia high school shifts to online learning
Georgia high school shifts to online learning Gerd Altmann - Pixabay

He explained the district believed there is a possibility the number of infections could further rise if the currently pending tests turn out positive. Otott said the district conferred with state health officials before taking the decision to close the school. His letter also promised parents they will be notified as to when the students can return to school.

Otott reminded parents to observe their children and take their temperatures at least two times a day, as well as to have them tested for coronavirus if they show any symptoms of the disease. He said, in the meantime, the school will be cleaned thoroughly and disinfected.

The school district superintendent's announcement came a day after the North Paulding High School principal, Gabe Carmona, informed parents in a separate letter six students and three school personnel recently tested positive for the bug. The school was in the national headlines after photos showing students crowding halls, seemingly oblivious to social distancing policies, circulated on social media.

Several students in the images were not wearing face coverings, despite public health advisories urging everyone to do so to help prevent the spread of the disease. Some online users were further outraged after two of the North Paulding's students reportedly got suspended for sharing footage and photos of students standing shoulder to shoulder in a crowded hallway, although one of the suspended students claimed her suspension was later lifted by the school. As of Monday, the total confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the state of Georgia stands at more than 216,000, of which, 4,199 died.