Georgia High School was captured in viral photos last week showing that corridors packed with students would be temporarily closed after nine people at school, the district superintendent said in a Sunday letter. test positive for COVID-19.
NBC News obtained a letter from the Paulding County School District Superintendent Brian Otott to the parents of North Paulding High School students. The letter did not give further details about the person with the illness or what their condition was.
The letter says: Students will use a “digital learning” paradigm on Mondays and Tuesdays while the school is in the process of deep cleaning. Otott notes that the number of cases may increase if the tests pending also show positive results.
The school will notify parents on Tuesday night whether live classes will continue.
School officials did not return NBCNews̵7;s request for comment on Sunday.
North Paulding, almost an hour northwest of Atlanta, caught the attention of everyone after the fall term began on Monday. One student tweeted pictures showing other students, many of whom did not wear masks, side by side in the hallways of the school.
“Second day at North Paulding High,” said the student, Hannah Watters in the picture. “It was just as bad. We were stopped because it got stuck. We were close enough that I was pushed. … This is not good. Not to mention the 10% masking rate ”.
Watters was suspended for unauthorized use of her phone on school grounds and other matters, though that suspension was subsequently canceled.
In an open letter to the school community, Otott said that critics have used the image unjustly to disparage the district’s attempts to reopen.
According to the COVID-19 protocols that we have adopted, classroom changes like this can happen, especially at a high school with more than 2,000 students, Otott writes. “Remember that this situation follows the Georgia Department of Education’s reopening guidelines” which limits the group of students in transition to “doable.”
“Now, with that said, there’s no doubt that the photo doesn’t look good,” he added.