School Known for Crowded Hallway Photo Goes Remote After 9 Test Positive for COVID

Eldis Sula
August 10, 2020 - 7:14 pm
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    A Georgia school that caught national attention after a student shared a photo of its crowded hallways has temporarily shifted to virtual learning after 9 individuals tested positive for coronavirus.

    North Paulding High School notified parents of the decision in a letter on Sunday, CNN reports.

    "As a result of our being informed of nine cases of Covid-19 at North Paulding High School following the first week of in-person instruction, along with the possibility that number could increase if there are currently pending tests that prove positive, we have consulted with the Department of Public Health and are temporarily switching the instructional method to Digital Learning at NPHS," read the letter from district superintendent Brian Otott.

    For now, the shift is intended to be brief, only planned for Monday and Tuesday while the school “thoroughly cleaned and disinfected” and the district works with the Georgia Department of Public Health to identify anyone else who had close contact with COVID-positive individuals.

    On Tuesday evening, parents will be informed of whether virtual learning will continue or students can return for in-person instruction, according to the letter.

    On Saturday, the school notified parents in a letter that six students and three staff members tested positive for the virus.

    The note came one day after Hannah Watters, the 15-year-old 10th grader who took a photo of the school’s crowded hallway that went viral on social media, said that the school called and “deleted” her five-day suspension.

    The original photo in question shows a hallway packed with students on the second day of classes at the school, which is just outside of Atlanta.

    Watters said she shared the photo out of coronavirus concerns.

    “I was mostly anxious nervous and scared because this virus is very serious obviously and we weren’t taking the right precautions to keep people from getting it at the school," she told WXIA-TV, an NBC affiliate in Atlanta. "So I took that picture out of concern for the county and all the kids there and all the teachers and staff."

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