This story was updated at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020, with more information.
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UPDATE: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order stating that all Georgia K-12 schools will remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year.
Catoosa County Schools closed indefinitely
Catoosa County Schools Superintendent Denia Reese announced on March 26 that schools will be closed indefinitely and students will continue to use the digital learning platform in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The school district originally planned to return to school on April 6.
"You cannot imagine how difficult it is for me to make this announcement," Reese said in a press release. "I have always promised this community that my highest priority is student and employee safety, and to fulfill this promise it is necessary for our schools to remain closed."
Reese said she is working with neighboring communities and other school districts, including the ones in Hamilton County, to assess the risks of the coronavirus and what it would mean if students and staff were back at school.
Reese also likened the closure to when schools in Catoosa County had to close in 2011 after a tornado hit the community. She said schools were opened as soon as it was possible and safe.
"It is my heart's desire, and my daily prayer, to return to school this year," Reese said. "As soon as I can be confident that our students and employees will be safe, we will return to school."
Dalton Public Schools closed until April 10
Dalton Public Schools will now be closed through Friday, April 10 to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Students and staff will be on Spring Break from march 30 to April 3. There will be no digital learning or meal deliveries for students during that week. Both will resume on Monday, April 6.
April 10 will still be observed as a student holiday.
Whitfield County Schools closed until April 24
Whitfield County Schools will remain closed until Friday, April 24, due to the increasing concern of COVID-19. Schools will reopen Monday, April 27.
Dalton State College, along with all University System of Georgia institutions, are closing for two weeks starting Friday to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The schools are scheduled to reopen on Sunday, March 29.
Whitfield County Schools will be closed through Friday, April 10. School will resume for students on Monday, April 13, according to a news release.
Georgia school districts have been on alert this week after a Fulton County teacher tested positive for the coronavirus.
Walker County Schools has confirmed that schools will remain open for the rest of the week.
"We continue to work closely with the Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, as well as the Georgia Department of Education to provide accurate and timely information," Walker County Schools Superintendent Damon Raines said. "We have no immediate plans for closing schools at this time."
Contact Patrick Filbin at email@example.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.