An employee at Buckhead’s North Atlanta High School is the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease in Atlanta Public Schools.

There was “no exposure to students, and for staff there was no close contact with this employee,” APS said in a press release, describing an investigation by the Fulton County Board of Health. APS said the lack of exposure to students was determined by the Board of Health, which could not immediately reached for comment about how that was confirmed.

No students or other employees need to be interviewed by the Board of Health at this time, according to APS.

The entire district is already closed indefinitely as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic and facilities are being cleaned and disinfected. APS said the Board of Health has directed the employee to “self-quarantine.” The employee’s identity is not being released due to confidentiality.

“Health officials confirmed for us that the biggest public health intervention we could have done has already been, and that was to close all schools in Atlanta Public Schools, a recommended mitigation strategy,” said APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen in the press release. “Atlanta now has widespread community transmission of COVID-19, and we all have to take that fact very seriously. We have to fight this as a community by collectively following the preventative guidance provided by health officials, and we have to commit to keeping each other healthy and safe.”

Earlier this month, two teachers in the Fulton County School System were diagnosed with COVID-19, triggering the first metro area school closures.

North Atlanta High is located at 4111 Northside Parkway.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.