Officials say the Fulton County Schools employee with the coronavirus is an itinerant teacher at Bear Creek Middle School in Fairburn and Woodland Middle School in East Point.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney announced during a press conference that the teacher fell ill last Friday and 911 was called during the school day. The teacher was transported from Bear Creek to a local hospital. The teacher tested positive for coronavirus at 11 a.m. Monday morning.
"We are providing the Department of Health with the names and contact information of the students and employees we believe who have had direct contact," Looney said. "We have reason to believe there was direct contact (with the teacher)."
The superintendent could not say how many students came into direct contact with the teacher, but said teachers teach around five to six courses a day, with 20 to 25 students.
According to the Fulton County School System website, the school system is the fourth largest school system in Georgia with more than 14,000 full-and part-time employees, including more than 7,500 teachers and other certified personnel, who work in 106 schools and administrative and support buildings. Fulton County Schools has around 93,500 students for the 2019-2020 school year.
"I haven't look at this particular teacher's specific schedule, but that's a very common placing," Looney said.
Looney released Bear Creek Middle School, Woodland Middle School and Creekside High School in Fairburn early Monday. Looney said he choose to release Creekside as well because of the proximity to the middle school, shared staff members and "a number of families with students in both schools."
All Fulton schools are closed Tuesday, March 10 for cleaning.
"The health and well being of our students and faculty is of paramount importance to our school district and to our board," Looney said. "Until we can understand the breadth of of this particular issue I think caution is better than negligence."
According to Looney, a decision about the length of this particular closing for the district will be made by tomorrow at 5 p.m.
Students will not need to do digital learning until three absences. The digital learning plan does include hard copy material for students who cannot access the internet.
Looney said he has no information on how the teacher contracted the virus, how long the teacher was sick or how many students came in contact with the teacher.