DeKalb school district closes additional buildings due to COVID-19

Smoke Rise Elementary School. (Photo/Maureen Downey)
Smoke Rise Elementary School. (Photo/Maureen Downey)

Credit: Maureen Downey

Credit: Maureen Downey

The DeKalb County School district recently closed a few buildings for cleaning due to the coronavirus.

The closures included its fingerprinting office, Smoke Rise Elementary School in Tucker and a meal production center at the John Robert Lewis Elementary School in Brookhaven.

Students are still learning virtually, as they have done ever since DeKalb County School District buildings were closed last March.

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Although officials have not said when in-person learning will begin again, most of the school staff returned to buildings last week to continue teaching students virtually.

The district posted data to its website Friday that said 604 employees and 158 students tested positive for COVID-19 from July 1, 2020, to Feb. 3.

Staff at Smoke Rise Elementary School in Tucker are working virtually again today while the school is closed for cleaning, a district spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman did not say how many employees at the school were infected. Four employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since last July, according to data from the district.

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A district spokeswoman also said the meal production unit at the Robert Lewis Elementary School in Brookhaven was recently closed for cleaning. The meal production work was temporarily relocated, she said. Three employees at the school have tested positive for COVID-19 since last July, district data show.

A Stone Mountain High School staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday and has not returned to the building, according to the district. Students are testing in an opposite wing of the building.

A classroom was closed at Panola Way Elementary School in Lithonia, but the spokeswoman said the room was sanitized and the building remains open.

The district also recently shut down its fingerprinting office for a second time. A spokeswoman said the fingerprinting unit will reopen on Wednesday.

DeKalb superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris or a designee determines whether a facility or school should be closed because of virus exposure, and the district’s cleaning protocols are based on guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the district.

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