DeKalb elementary school to close after 18 students test positive for COVID

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Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris of the DeKalb County School District speaks at a news conference about the COVID-19 cases at an elementary school on Sept. 2, 2021. (LEON STAFFORD / AJC)

By Susan Hogan and Leon Stafford

Oak View Elementary School is scheduled to reopen Sept. 13

The DeKalb County School District announced Thursday that an elementary school is closing temporarily after numerous students tested positive for the coronavirus.

The district said 18 students at Oak View Elementary School tested positive. More than 90 students and 13 staff members are now in quarantine.

The school building will be closed on Friday for cleaning. It’s set to reopen Sept. 13.

“We feel this is the best decision for this school community at this time,” Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris said at a news conference.

Students in prekindergarten, kindergarten, first, second and fifth grades were impacted, she said. No cases involving third or fourth grade students had been reported as of early Thursday, the district said.

“We are confident that we’ve isolated the situation right now,” Watson-Harris said.

COVID-19 testing will be provided for staff and students of the school, she said. The health department is handling contact tracing.

The school remained open Thursday to students and staff not affected. That was, in part, to help with the transition to online learning, Watson-Harris said.

“Our decision-making process was to make sure that the students and the staff have everything they need to pivot to the virtual instruction,” she said. “We thought that was in the best interest of the school.”

The district reported more than 1,800 COVID-19 cases during the last full three weeks of August, according to its website. No other school in the district has shut down this school year.

“There are no other schools in this acute situation,” she said.

Since the start of the new school year, 14 metro Atlanta school districts recorded 18,548 COVID-19 cases as of Aug. 27. COVID-19 cases among children are now at their highest point of the pandemic, according to state health data.

Read the original story on AJC.com.