Gwinnett County Public School teachers and employees are a warning sign of what can happen if schools rush to reopen. According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 260 workers in the school district — which is the largest in the state of Georgia — have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed.
Gwinnett County spokesperson Sloan Roach said that the majority of the cases are due to “community spread.”
“Through tracing, we know that the majority of these cases are the result of community spread, meaning we have people who have called in to report who have not been at school or work,” Roach said.
“We have reporting and tracing processes in place. We also have a protocol for excluding employees who are positive or are a contact. In addition, there are protocols for making reports to the Health Department when there are two or more related cases.”
There have been nearly 18,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Gwinnett County with 1,996 hospitalizations and 240 deaths.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 4.4 confirmed cases and 152,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.