Private school in Cherokee closed because of coronavirus concerns

A home studies program in Cherokee County is temporarily closing after one of its students was diagnosed earlier this week with COVID-19.

A home studies program in Cherokee County is temporarily closed after one of its students was diagnosed earlier this week with COVID-19, according to school officials.

The Fulton County teenager and his father are, right now, the state’s only two confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus. State public health officials held a press conference earlier this week to announce the diagnoses and said both were doing well and experiencing minimal symptoms. Their names have not been released by authorities.

The private Christian school, named Living Science Home Studies, is for home-schooled students. It offers a wide variety of classes for kids who are home schooled, including core classes and electives such as sign language and Spanish. The school also has a strong STEM focus.

Barbara P. Jacoby, chief communications officer for Cherokee County schools, emailed parents about the closure on Wednesday. Jacoby said Cherokee County Schools does not oversee private schools or home-schooled students. She put out the email to address rampant rumors.

Meanwhile, Jacoby stressed in the email that there are no confirmed cases in Cherokee County. She added that there are Cherokee County residents who have opted to self-quarantine after recently traveling abroad.

» THE LATEST: Complete coverage of coronavirus in Georgia

Officials with Living Science Home Studies could not be reached for comment. but posted on the school website that the Georgia Department of Public Health has contacted families who have children in the same Wednesday class as the student with COVID-19. Health officials have asked those families to self-quarantine voluntarily for a two-week incubation period. It’s unclear how much time the child spent at the school.

Living Science was not required to close its campus but decided to do so out of an abundance of caution. School officials plan to reopen March 12. Classes will be offered online during the closure.

Located in a suburban part of Cherokee County east of downtown Woodstock, the school appeared empty Wednesday afternoon. An orange “no trespassing” sign blocked the entrance.

About 15 people in Georgia had been tested for coronavirus as of Tuesday, public health officials said. State officials have said the risks to Georgians remains low.

So far, there are more than 100 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the United States, including people in Washington, California, Florida and New York. Many of the diagnoses have come in the last week.

- Staff writer Jeremy Redmon contributed to this article.

CORONAVIRUS TIPS

CDC recommends preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

• CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

• If you are concerned you might have the coronavirus, call your healthcare provider before going to a hospital or clinic. In mild cases, your doctor might give you advice on how to treat symptoms at home without seeing you in person, which would reduce the number of people you expose. But in more severe cases an urgent care center or hospital would benefit from advance warning because they can prepare for your arrival. For example, they may want you to enter a special entrance, so you don’t expose others.

Source: CDC

 

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