The Fulton School System has adopted a three-tiered closing process to guide response to students or staff who test positive for or who are exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Last spring, the entire system shut down after a staff member in South Fulton County tested positive for the novel virus.

This fall, if only one or two staff or students tests positive, Superintendent Mike Looney said the district would require quarantine only for individuals who had “direct, sustained contact” within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes, identified through contact tracing. Impacted areas would be cleaned, but classes would not be disrupted.

If the number of cases rises, the practice of “isolate, investigate, disinfect” would be implemented, with classes possibly moving to remote if needed.

If numbers prompt a move to level three, the district will take guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health and state health officials. That could lead to school closures.

“If a single student in a single classroom [tests positive] it will not impact the entire school unless it expands to several students and staff,” Looney said.

Closing schools across the entire district will only occur under level three and would be based on the direction of either the public health entity or the state, Looney said.

Candy Waylock is an award winning education reporter who has covered all things education for Appen Media over the past 20 years. She is an Alpharetta resident.

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