Cherokee closes 3rd high school as 500 students quarantined for COVID

A third Cherokee County high school announced plans Sunday to temporarily end in-person learning after 500 students quarantined and 25 tested positive for COVID-19. (Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

Credit: ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

One-quarter of students taking in-person classes potentially exposed to coronavirus

A third Cherokee County high school announced plans Sunday to temporarily end in-person learning after 500 students were quarantined and 25 tested positive for COVID-19.

Creekview High School in Canton is suspending in-person learning effective immediately through Aug. 31, according to a spokeswoman for the county school district.

The decision came after more than a quarter of the 1,800 students taking in-person classes at the high school were directed to quarantine. The school district said it’s expecting the number of quarantined students to “significantly increase” once pending tests are returned.

ExploreWeekly COVID-19 count nearly triples in Cherokee County schools

“We understand these closings create hardships and are disappointing to students who want to learn in-person as well as their families, but these are necessary measures to avoid potential spread within our schools,” said Barbara P. Jacoby, a spokeswoman for the Cherokee County School District.

Creekview will be deep cleaned Monday as teachers prepare for the shift to remote learning. Online classes will begin Tuesday, and teachers are expected to stream their lessons from their classrooms. After-school sports will continue with additional safety measures in place, but Jacoby said “continuation will be closely monitored for possible closure.”

Creekview students who had previously enrolled in online-only learning won’t be impacted by the closure, Jacoby said.

Sunday’s announcement came about two weeks after Cherokee schools resumed classes for more than 31,000 students whose families opted for in-person learning. It came on the heels of two other Cherokee County high schools, Woodstock and Etowah, announcing they would transition to online-only classes through the end of August after hundreds of students were quarantined.

ExploreCherokee closes high school after district reports 900 in quarantine

Etowah made national headlines when a photograph of dozens of maskless students huddled together went viral.

The school district is requiring teachers to wear masks. Students can decide for themselves but are “strongly recommended and encouraged” to do so, Jacoby previously told the AJC.

“As we have said since we announced our reopening, we will not hesitate to quarantine students and close classrooms in an effort to continue operating school in-person for as long as possible,” she said Sunday.

See the full list of school-by-school cases and quarantine count here.

ExploreWoodstock High School becomes second in Cherokee County to close due to coronavirus cases

In Other News