Several students, staff at Georgia high school in viral picture contract coronavirus

Nine people connected to North Paulding High School were diagnosed with COVID-19

In this photo posted on Twitter, students crowd a hallway, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga. (Twitter via AP, File)

Days after a photo showing students in a jam-packed hallway at a Georgia high school made rounds on the internet, nine people have tested positive for COVID-19.

As reported by ABC News, North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga., sent parents a letter on Saturday informing families that six students and three faculty members who were on school premises last week have contracted the disease.

“We have anticipated that COVID-19 would impact us as it has nearly every community, and the district has worked in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH) to proactively implement safety precautions and response plans,” school officials wrote in the letter.

Although parents were assured in the letter that custodial staff will continue daily disinfectant procedures, it failed to mention if the school planned to take any extra precautions, such as mandating mask-wearing, quarantining those infected or providing more online classes.

Read More: Georgia students threatened with suspension for exposing unsafe COVID-19 practices

The outbreak comes after Hannah Watters, 15, exposed the lack of social distancing at Paulding High School when she posted a snapshot of the school environment to Twitter that depicted a throng of students, many without masks, squeezed into a corridor on the first day back to school.

As reported by the New York Times, Hannah’s mother, Lynne Watters, filed a grievance with the school on Thursday, and Hannah was reinstated the next day.

“This morning my school called and they have deleted my suspension,” Hannah wrote in a Twitter post on Friday.

Read More: Study finds Black students are suspended more than white peers

According to the New York Times, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Public Health‘s northwest district, which includes Paulding County, said the agency offers advice about best practices for controlling the spread of the virus, but choices about what to do in schools are ultimately up to local officials.

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