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Student at Cherokee Co. elementary school tests positive for COVID-19, classroom to quarantine

The students and teacher will now learn virtually for 14 days, after a student tested positive for COVID-19.

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Two days into the new school year, parents were notified that a student attending in-person class on Monday has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The student is a second-grader at Sixes Elementary School in Cherokee County. Photos shared on the school's Facebook page show crowded classrooms with some students wearing masks and little to no social distancing. 

This is the first COVID-19 positive case reported among the students and staff in the county, Barbara P. Jacoby, chief communications officer for the district told 11Alive. 

Due to the exposure, she said the affected second-grade classroom will be temporarily closed, and the teacher along with 20 other students in the class must quarantine for two weeks.

RELATED: Neither masks nor social distancing required | First look inside Georgia's schools

"The teacher, who is symptom-free, will teach the class online from home through our Canvas learning management system. The classroom will be deep-cleaned after school today," Jacoby said.

She also said that the student showed no symptoms during school on Monday and that when the symptoms began after school, "the student's parents sought medical assistance and testing that resulted in the positive diagnosis."

In a letter sent home to parents, the principal, Ashley Kennerly said they encourage parents to temperature scan and monitor kids for symptoms.

She said closing the classroom was out of "an abundance of caution and in accordance with our Exposure and Response Plan."

Jacoby previously told 11Alive that masks were not required. 

"Masks are not mandated for students – they are strongly encouraged and recommended. The fact that masks would not be mandated for students is known to all CCSD parents, as it has been repeatedly communicated to them since the reopening plan was announced July 8." 

In addition, as of last Friday, across the county, nine staff members reported positive cases. One at Ball Ground ES STEM Academy, one at Creekland Middle, two at Creekview High, one at Indian Knoll Elementary, one at Mill Creek Middle, and one at Woodstock Elementary. The district said this report is updated once a week.