Fulton County Schools, the largest school district in Georgia, which includes parts of Atlanta, has closed all of its public schools through Tuesday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
As Atlanta’s WSB-TV reports, an employee of the district has tested positive for the disease and is being treated at a local hospital. How severe his or her symptoms are is unclear, as of this writing. Also unclear is which school the employee worked for.
“Today, FCS was informed that we have an employee with a confirmed case of coronavirus. Based on this concern, we’ve decided to enact immediate dismissal at the impacted schools,” the district said in a statement, via Reporter Newspapers.
In order to get ahead of the curve, the district dismissed students in the “impacted schools” effective immediately on Monday. On Tuesday, all schools and offices in Fulton County will be closed.
According to the statement from the district, officials plan to use Tuesday to accomplish two goals.
“This closure will allow us to clean and sanitize affected schools as well as share additional details of our ongoing plan,” it read.
There may yet be additional closures, as these decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Fulton County Schools teacher worked at both Bear Creek Middle and Woodland Middle schools tested positive for COVID-19. District closed both schools and Creekside High today. All Fulton Co. Schools close tomorrow for disinfecting. pic.twitter.com/fYJzC4foP4
— Donna Lowry (@donnalowrynews) March 9, 2020
Elsewhere in Georgia, at least five people in the state are confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, three of them in Fulton County.
Those Fulton County cases include a father and son who, along with a third person, had been to Italy, the European country that has been hardest hit by the virus. The father and son have self-quarantined themselves at their home — how sick they are, if indeed they are showing any symptoms at all, is unclear as of this writing. The person who accompanied the father and son to the country is currently hospitalized as well.
Georgia’s two other coronavirus cases are in Cobb County and Polk County, both near Atlanta. Elsewhere in the U.S., the patient in Missouri’s only known coronavirus case had also visited Italy, as reported by The Inquisitr.
Georgia joins Washington, California, New York, and a multitude of other states that have confirmed cases of the coronavirus within their borders. According to Live Science, there have been at least 560 cases of the virus in the U.S., with 22 confirmed deaths as of this writing.
Meanwhile, health officials say they intend to distribute as many as 400,000 test kits by the end of the week.