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Pickens Co. Schools employee who ate at Canton Waffle House opts for COVID-19 precaution

The school employee ate at a restaurant where a worker tested positive for COVID-19, Pickens County Schools said. The parapro hasn't yet shown any signs of illness.

PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. — A paraprofessional working for Pickens County Schools has placed themselves under quarantine as a precaution after eating at a restaurant where one worker tested positive for coronavirus.

The decision self-quarantine the paraprofessional comes just one day after Waffle House announced that the location at 1849 Marietta Highway had temporarily closed after its employee tested positive for the illness. 

“During the restaurant closure, we sanitized the restaurant thoroughly, using methods specifically designed to clean and disinfect,” Waffle House Director of Public Relations Njeri Boss said in a statement released to 11Alive.  

Twelve co-workers who worked with that person were also asked to self-quarantine in their homes through March 14.

Pickens County Schools announced on Wednesday that the paraprofessional at Harmony Elementary School who works in fourth-grade classes ate at the Waffle House in Canton, Georgia on March 1, the same day an employee who has the virus worked. However, the school employee hasn't shown signs of the virus and it's not even clear if the two were at the location at the same time. 

Due to health risks associated with COVID-19 - the current strain of coronavirus - the Pickens County school employee is spending the "remaining days of the incubation period" for the virus on quarantine.

The school system pointed out that it remains in close contact with health officials at all levels of government and continues to monitor the situation as it impacts their schools. But, at this point, they've seen no confirmed reports of the virus in any employee or student.

"Again, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 at Harmony Elementary or any Pickens School," the system said in a statement.

As with any infectious disease that may involve food service workers, the need to notify the public is based on risk and exposure, as deemed necessary through epidemiologic contact tracing,” a Georgia Department of Public Health spokesperson said.

In Georgia, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low, according to officials. At 11Alive, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.11Alive.com/Coronavirus.

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