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Harris County teacher places himself in quarantine for COVID-19

A teacher in the Harris County School District has self-quarantined himself due to potential exposure to COVID-19 after he came in contact with Congressman Doug Collins over the weekend.

The teacher’s decision came after Collins announced Monday he would voluntarily self-quarantine himself, also due to potential exposure to the virus.

According to a news release, the school district stated there had not been anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, and the risk remains low.

“However, as a precaution, the district is performing a deep cleaning of the building, and all schools will remain in session,” a news release from the district said. “Parents of Harris County Carver Middle School have all been notified and would excuse any student absence as a result.”

A statement from State School Superintendent Richard Woods said an employee of Fulton County Schools had been diagnosed with the virus. As a result, the statement said the school district decided to close all schools Tuesday.

Woods said the state school board advises all Georgia school districts to continue following the guidance of the Georgia Department of Public Health and their local boards of health. The statement said school closures in other districts are not recommended as of Tuesday.

“All school districts should continue to take preventative measures, including providing ample time for students and staff to wash their hands and developing plans to continue student learning should your school district need to close for several days,” Woods said in the statement. “Parents should keep children who are sick at home — don’t send them to school. Teach your children to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and to stay at least three feet away from people who are sick.”

The statement said the safety of students is the No. 1 priority for the state school board.

“I thank Gov. Kemp for acting proactively to protect all Georgians,” Wood said in the statement. “We will continue to work closely with him and with public health to ensure schools have the most up-to-date information, resources, and support regarding COVID-19.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are a reported 18 cases of COVID-19 in Georgia. None have been reported in Troup County as of Tuesday. A total of 647 cases of the virus have been reported throughout the United States.

WellStar Health System, along with WellStar West Georgia, announced Sunday it will be limiting entrance to its hospitals, health parks, urgent care centers, ambulatory practices and long-term care facilities to essential personnel only.

“The CDC is now requiring all patients and visitors to be screened before entering any hospital as a precautionary measure for the coronavirus (COVID-19),” said SVP and WellStar West Georgia Hospital President Coleman Foss. “To comply with this new measure and provide adequate staffing, the main entrance to the lobby and the emergency room entrance are the only two entrances open to the public right now. There is staff stationed at each entrance to oversee the screening process for patients and visitors.”

Hospital officials said individuals would be screened for their temperature, review of symptoms and travel history in regards to the coronavirus.