Paulding County

Days after photos of packed hallways go viral, Paulding high school reports 9 COVID-19 cases

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — Just days after a photo of crowded hallways at North Paulding High School went viral, parents were informed Saturday of nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus at the school.

Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Nicole Carr got a copy of the letter. Principal Gabe Carmona wrote that six students and three staff members who were in school last week have since reported positive tests for COVID-19.

The school district has not announced if students who were exposed will have to quarantine and have not given any notice about shutting down classrooms.


North Paulding got national attention last week after a student took a photo of jam-packed hallways with few students wearing masks. School officials initially suspended the student who took the photo, Hannah Waters, but then lifted the punishment after it sparked outrage.

“Our custodial staff continues to thoroughly clean and disinfect the school building daily, and especially affected areas,” Carmona wrote. “It is my intention to regularly notify the NPHS community of these cases in the interest of transparency and so that we, as a community, can be aware of any trends that arise and respond accordingly.”

Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik learned that according to an open records request verified by Rep. Beth Moore, Paulding County Schools have reported a total of 53 cases of coronavirus within the district since July 1. Twenty-three of those were among students who attend North Paulding High School. Students did not return back to school until Aug. 3.