Districts, colleges across Georgia cancel school amid coronavirus outbreak

Following the latest update from Gov. Brian Kemp, many schools across north Georgia made the decision to close.

ATHENS — The University System of Georgia and local school districts announced that they are canceling classes amid the coronavirus outbreak in Georgia.

The University System of Georgia is canceling classes for two weeks starting Monday, according to a letter sent to school presidents Thursday afternoon.

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In the letter, the USG asks all 26 campuses, including the University of Georgia, to temporarily suspend instruction and encourages students not to return to campus from spring break. Students still on campus are asked to leave by Friday night if possible.

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"Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all University System of Georgia institutions will temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks to allow time for USG institutions to test their business continuity plans and online instruction modules and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia.

“Students who are currently on spring break are strongly encouraged not to return to campus. Students on campus are asked to depart campus by close of business Friday, March 13, 2020, and to remain away from campus until March 29, 2020. At this time, students are not being asked to move out of their dorms for the remainder of the semester. For students who are unable to leave campus, please establish a mechanism to safely accommodate those students on campus,” the letter said.

Kennesaw State University says it will suspend classes Monday, March 16 until Tuesday, March 17 ″in order to implement alternative plans to allow for remote learning." Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, all classes will be delivered remotely for students at both campuses until further notice. Spring break will still be held from March 30 through April 3.

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen told everyone to prepare for an extended leave starting Monday.

Barrow County Schools will be closed for two weeks starting on Monday.

“During this closing, there will be no extracurricular activities, sports, school events, or field trips. As additional information and guidance is provided, updates will be shared.”

Buford City Schools will close on Monday and will assess when to reopen.

“The district will monitor closely and assess the situation to determine if this closure should be extended past this week. When a date to re-open is determined we will let you know immediately.”

Carroll County Schools will close Monday for two weeks.

“The risk to the general public remains low at this time, however we are taking precautionary measures to ensure the health and well-being of our students and staff remains the top priority,” the district said in a statement.

Cherokee County Schools and offices will be closed for two weeks starting March 16 through March 27, 2020. They will use Digital Learning Days during the closure to continue teaching and learning.

Clayton County Schools are closing until further notice starting on Monday.

Cobb County Schools and Marietta City Schools announced it will close Monday until further notice.

“While our school buildings will be closed, the education process will not stop. All staff will work remotely to best support students, including delivering digital and physical instructional resources to students while they’re at home,” the Cobb County School District said in a statement.

Coweta County Schools will be closed immediately for two weeks.

Decatur City Schools also announced it will be closed until further notice.

“We hope to resume instruction as soon as possible, but the health situation remains fluid and this timeline is subject to change. We have not been informed of any member of the CSD community who has tested positive for COVID-19,” the district said in a statement.

DeKalb County Schools is closing Monday until further notice. The district is exploring options for providing emergency meal service for students.

Douglas County Schools will close on Monday for two weeks.

“All students and employees will return on Monday, March 30. Most extracurricular activities, field trips and athletic events are also canceled during this time,” the district said in a statement.

Fayette County Schools will close schools and offices March 16 through March 20. The closure affects all school programming and athletics.

“We will notify you by noon on March 19 about the operational status of our school system for the week of March 23 (our intention is to notify parents and staff on a weekly basis about school operations).”

Forsyth County Schools to hold Online Learning Days for the week of March 16-20.

“On Thursday, March 19, the school system will announce its plans for March 23-27, following a thorough review of the COVID-19 situation at that time.”

Fulton County Schools announced it is closing immediately until further notice.

“We recognize the hardship this decision places on many families but believe it is in the public’s best interest if it means we can contribute to protecting our students and the community’s health and well-being,” the district said in a statement.

Gainesville City Schools will close next week. The district said information on meals will be forthcoming.

Griffin-Spalding County Schools will be closed until April 10.

Gwinnett County Schools will hold digital learning days next week.

“Friday, March 13, is a scheduled student/teacher holiday for Gwinnett County Public Schools. For the week of March 16-20, GCPS will hold Digital Learning Days. On Thursday, March 19, the school system will announce its plans for March 23-27, following a thorough review of the COVID-19 situation at that time,” the district said.

Hall County Schools will close for one week beginning Monday.

“The district will monitor closely and assess the situation to determine if school from home should extended beyond one week, and stakeholders will be notified by the end of the business day on Thursday, March 19, 2020,” the district said in a statement.

Heard County Schools will be closed for a two-week period of March 16th through March 29th.

Henry County Schools will close for at least 2 weeks starting Monday.

“This extended closure will allow for a thorough cleaning of all facilities and district property, for district officials to implement continuity plans, and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding Coronavirus in Georgia.”

Jackson County Schools will close starting Monday and plans for classes to resume March 30. Students will complete digital learning.

Paulding County Schools will close Monday until further notice.

“We anticipate the closure will be at least two weeks and our plan at this time is to reopen schools on March 30, 2020,” the district said.

Pickens County Schools will close Monday until March 27.

“Our school district remains in close contact with local, district, and state health officials and is monitoring this situation very closely.”

Pike County Schools will be closed on Friday.

“We will take tomorrow to thoroughly clean our schools and gather the information needed to make decisions about how we proceed moving forward. We understand that school closings create challenges for our families, but our first priority is the safety of our students and staff. We are grateful for your understanding and for your support.”

Oconee County Schools will be closed beginning March 16.

“OCS will be closed for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16 and re-opening Monday, March 30.”

Rome City Schools canceled classes Friday and Monday.

Putnam County Schools will close next week.

These decisions follow several of a similar nature over the past 24 hours as the coronavirus outbreak spreads in Georgia.

Earlier Thursday, state officials announced the state’s first death from coronavirus.

For a full list of coronavirus closures, cancellations and updates, click here.