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Coronavirus cases and exposures sideline 260 employees in Georgia's largest public school district

School superintendents prepare to reopen
How school superintendents are preparing to reopen amid COVID-19 surge 04:39

More than 250 employees in Georgia's largest public school district have reported testing positive for the coronavirus or possibly being exposed to it about a week before the school year is set to begin, according to district officials. Gwinnett County Public Schools teachers - many of whom were not allowed to work from home - began in-person planning Wednesday at county facilities, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

By Thursday, about 260 employees had called in to report a positive COVID-19 test or possible exposure to a case and were excluded from work, officials confirmed to news outlets.

Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks announced last month that the 180,000-student district in suburban Atlanta would not offer in-person classes when instruction begins Aug. 12, saying all classes would instead be taught online.

Wilbanks said at the time that teachers would generally deliver lessons online from schools, but Gwinnett officials also said they would allow some staff members to work from home "to address individual concerns."

The number of exposed employees remains in flux as new cases are reported and others are cleared from quarantine, news outlets quoted district spokeswoman Sloan Roach as saying.

"Given the number of COVID cases in Gwinnett, we would expect to see positives among our employees based on the community spread in our county," Roach said.

The county, the state's second-most populous, had more than 17,780 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday, with at least 240 deaths.

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