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Fulton shuts down Banneker High for day due to COVID-19 cases

By Ben Brasch, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News And Talk #atlanta-ga

Two days after returning to full face-to-face instruction, Fulton County Schools has temporarily shut down one of its high schools due to a the number of COVID-19 cases in the building.

The district closed Banneker High School near Union City on Friday because three or more students/staff were confirmed to have the coronavirus, according to a letter from Principal Jason Stamper to families.

Students were told to continue learning remotely on Friday.

Stamper wrote that the district will “spend time tomorrow conducting a deep cleaning of the building.” Banneker will resume face-to-face instruction on Monday, according to the letter.

This is the first school to close due to COVID-19 cases since the district re-opened, according to a district spokeswoman.

The district turned entirely virtual on March 13 to slow the spread of COVID-19, becoming the first district in Metro Atlanta to do so. It returned to full in-person education on Oct. 14.

This is the full letter Principal Jason Stamper sent families:

Greetings Banneker High School Parents and Guardians, 

This is an important message from Fulton County Schools. The District has decided to close Banneker High School for face to face instruction for Friday, October 16, 2020 based on a Level 2 incident from the FCS closing matrix. Students will continue to learn Friday, October 16, 2020 using Remote Learning. 

As public health officials have communicated, it is very important to monitor your health for fever and symptoms of respiratory illness. In the event that your child develops a fever, runny nose, cough and/or shortness of breath, headache, nausea, loss of taste and smell, and vomiting or becomes ill between today and your child’s return to school, please call your child’s healthcare provider immediately. You should inform the healthcare provider that your child is ill and was possibly exposed to Coronavirus. The healthcare provider will determine if testing is necessary after examining your child.  

To schedule a free COVID-19 test regardless of symptoms go to covid19.dph.ga.gov For appointments by phone call 404-613-8150. However, it is quicker to schedule an appointment online due to the volume of calls. Calls are accepted during these times: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Testing site locations, dates, and/or times are subject to change. Please check https://www.coreresponse.org/covid19-atlanta the day-of testing to confirm testing site information. 

Expect about a 30-minute wait at testing sites. Residents should bring water and a chair if you are walking-up to a test site. Public restrooms may not be available at testing locations. https://fultoncountyga.gov/covid-19/covid-testing-sites

FCS will spend time tomorrow conducting a deep cleaning of the building. School will resume for face to face instruction on Monday, October 19, 2020. If you have questions, please call the public health hotline at 404-613-8150.