The Cherokee County School District has decided to close Etowah High School until August 31st due to a recent rise in COVID-19, according to a press release from Dr. Brian Hightower.
"We are temporarily closing in-person learning at Etowah High School effective at the end of classes today (Aug. 11, 2020). It is our hope to restart in-person classes at Etowah HS on Monday, Aug. 31. This decision was not made lightly; it was made with the support of School Board Members, and was determined, as all of our quarantine decisions are made, in consideration with the Department of Public Health.
We recognize this decision still may create hardships for Etowah HS families and is disappointing for students who want to be at school for in-person learning. As of this morning, the number of positive cases at the school had increased to a total of 14, with tests for another 15 students pending; and, as a result of the confirmed cases, 294 students and staff are under quarantine and, should the pending tests prove positive, that total would increase dramatically."
Cherokee County was one of the first school systems to open for in-person classes this year, and has been forced to close certain classes and quarantine select teachers and students. This is the first time the District has been forced to close an entire school.
Dr. Hightower ended his statement with a message to other parents and students in the District "We ask all students, staff and families to please continue to social distance and use masks when social distancing is not possible. It is our sincere belief and hope that following this guidance will help us keep our schools open for in-person learning. While cases are predominately affecting our high schools and we anticipate the need for quarantines will continue to rise in them with the possibility of more high school closures, we also may see more of our middle schools and elementary schools require quarantines in the coming days and weeks."