HS that suspended teen who tweeted photo of hallway has 9 COVID-19 cases


Published by ARSTECHNICA.COM

Summary generated on August 9, 2020


    There are nine newly confirmed COVID-19 cases at the high school that suspended a 15-year-old who had tweeted a photo of a hallway packed with maskless students.

    "Paulding County Schools have reported a total of 53 cases of coronavirus within the district since July 1," including 23 at the high school, according to Channel 2 in Atlanta.

    As we reported Friday, the school issued a 5-day suspension to student Hannah Watters after she posted a photo to Twitter, noting the "Jammed" hallways and "10 percent mask rate." The school lifted her suspension after extensive media coverage.

    Update at 6:50pm ET: North Paulding High School announced Sunday that it has canceled in-person instruction for Monday and Tuesday, August 10 and 11, because of the nine positive cases and "The possibility that number could increase if there are currently pending tests that prove positive." The school said that on Tuesday evening, parents and students will be notified about whether in-person instruction will resume on Wednesday.

    An elementary school nurse who worked in another school in Paulding County told the Journal-Constitution that she resigned from her job last month because of insufficient pandemic policies including the lack of a mask mandate.

    The high school's letter to parents on Saturday said that "Our custodial staff continues to thoroughly clean and disinfect the school building daily, and especially affected areas." But as the Journal-Constitution noted, "The letter to parents does not include information on whether any other students or staff who were exposed have to quarantine or whether any classrooms will be closed."

    In Sunday's update to parents, the school said that after further cleaning on Monday and Tuesday, the district will "Consult with the state Department of Public Health to assess the [school] environment and determine if there are any additional close contacts for confirmed cases who have not already been identified." People who tested positive and close contacts must quarantine for 14 days before returning to school, the new update said.