Story at a glance
- Teachers and staff began in-person preplanning Wednesday throughout Gwinnett County, but by Thursday employees had been excluded from work due to positive cases and exposure.
- The school system is set to start classes on Aug. 12 after announcing in July all classes would be held online.
- Teachers are required to teach remote classes from their regular classrooms.
Around 260 employees from the largest school district in Georgia have tested positive for COVID-19 or are quarantined due to possible exposure to the highly transmissible coronavirus as the metro Atlanta district is set to reopen with online learning next week, according to multiple reports.
Teachers and staff began in-person preplanning Wednesday throughout Gwinnett County, but by Thursday employees had been excluded from work due to positive cases and exposure, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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“As of last Thursday, we had approximately 260 employees who had been excluded from work due to a positive case or contact with a case,” Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) spokesperson Sloan Roach told CNN Sunday.
Roach said the number of employees affected is fluid as new reports come in and staff members return to work.
The district has a reporting and tracing process in addition to the protocol for excluding employees who test positive or are exposed to the virus, according to CNN.
“Through tracing, we know that the majority of these cases are the result of community spread, meaning we have people who have called in to report they are positive or a contact who have been at school or work,” Roach said.
The school system is set to start classes on August 12 after announcing in July all classes would be held online.
Teachers, however, learned they were required to teach remote classes from their regular classrooms with no students in the building, prompting the educators to petition the district to allow them to teach the virtual classes from home, citing health concerns.
Last week, hundreds of parents and students held a protest calling on the district to reinstate the option for in-person instruction, and thousands have signed a petition supporting the demand.
Gwinnett County has the second most number of confirmed cases in Georgia, with 17,781 and 240 total deaths.
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