(CNN) — Georgia’s largest school district has confirmed that about 260 employees have tested positive for covid-19 or been exposed.
Employees of the Gwinnett County School District (GCPS) will not yet return to school as districts across the country continue to adjust their back-to-school plans to prevent the spread of the virus.
The situation in Gwinnett is fluid, GCPS spokeswoman Sloan Roach told CNN in an email Sunday night.
“As of last Thursday, we had approximately 260 employees who had been excluded from work due to a positive case or contact with a case,” said Roach. “This number is fluid as we continue to have new reports and others that are returning to work,” he added.
The district, which is located in the Atlanta metropolitan area and is the largest in the state’s school system, will reopen with online learning on August 12.
Despite the high case count and confirmed spread from the community, some parents protested last week demanding that children be allowed to return to learning in person.
GCSD had already delayed the start date to August 12, but had given the option of physical learning until the end of July, when the decision to provide only virtual learning was due to “the current situation of covid-19 in our county and the Gwinnett County increases in cases, ”Roach explained.
Roach did not say whether the newly identified positive cases have changed the district’s reopening plans.
A reporting and tracking process already exists, as well as a protocol to exclude employees who test positive or come in contact with a confirmed case, Roach said.
Roach said that due to the search process, the district determined that most of these 260 cases were the result of the spread of the community. “We have people who have called to report that they have not been to school or work,” he said.
Gwinnett County has the second highest rate of covid-19 cases in the state, with 17,781 confirmed cases, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. As of Monday morning, more than 190,000 cases and 3,800 deaths have been reported in the state.
“Given the number of covid cases at Gwinnett, we would expect to see positive results among our employees based on the spread of the community in our county,” said Roach.
– CNN’s Madeline Holcomb contributed to this report.