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DeKalb County closes elementary school for 10 days due to COVID

Oak View Elementary School will temporarily close effective Friday.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A DeKalb County elementary school will close for 10 days, the county's schools system said Thursday, after 18 students tested positive for COVID-19.

Oak View Elementary School in south DeKalb will close effective Friday, the DeKalb County School District said, and reopen on Sept. 13.

In a release, the school district said the 18 positive cases have resulted in the quarantines of more than 90 students as well as 13 staff members.

Oak View Elementary is the first school in the district to close from COVID this year.

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The impacted grades include pre-K, kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade and 5th grade, the district said.

"No cases have been reported thus far in grades 3rd and 4th. Out of abundance of caution, the district has decided to close the Oak View Elementary School building effective Sept. 3, and reopen on Sept. 13. Students will receive virtual instruction and teachers will work virtually next week," a release outlined.

Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris said over a five-day period, 18 students tested positive for the virus, and 90 other students were identified as close contacts along with 13 staff members. That’s 121 people at a school with a student population of 820.

Parents 11Alive talked to had mixed reactions to the decision. But, Watson-Harris said the decision took into account a range of factors. 

“Daily COVID-19 exposure and positive reports, staff and student absentee rates, and ability to maintain appropriate staffing,” Watson-Harris said. 

She added that no other school right now is in as bad of a situation as Oak View Elementary, but if numbers increase, that could change.

Oak View Elementary will be disinfected while it’s closed and it will still offer free lunch and breakfast. The district will also offer free COVID-19 testing and vaccines at their administrative offices Friday, Sept. 3, for all eligible staff, students and family members of students.