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2 APS food distribution sites closed after volunteers test positive for COVID-19

The district shared the news with families in a Thursday letter from Superintendent Meria Carstarphen.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Public Schools said it had to shut down two food distribution sites for students after multiple employees that volunteered to hand out food to students tested positive for COVID-19.

The district shared the news with families in a Thursday letter from Superintendent Meria Carstarphen. 11Alive obtained a copy, Friday afternoon.

According to the district, two employees stationed at the Thomasville Heights Elementary School site tested positive for the coronavirus while working there in late March. Two more employees working at the Booker T. Washington High School site in early April also tested positive for the virus.

As a result of this development, the district has closed the two locations "effective immediately." The district added that they notified any individuals who may have come in contact with those employees. 

READ: Letter to parents

LEA: La carta a los padres

Going forward, the district said it will now conduct on-site temperature checks at the eight remaining distribution sites and continue to require all workers to use masks, gloves and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Those remaining sites include:

  • Bunche Middle School - 1925 Niskey Lake Road, SW
  • Cleveland Avenue Elementary School - 2672 Old Hapeville Road, SW
  • Douglass High School - 225 Hamilton E Holmes Dr., NW
  • Phoenix Academy (formerly Alonzo Crim High School) - 256 Clifton St., SE
  • Sylvan Hills Middle School - 1461 Sylvan Road, SW
  • Hope-Hill Elementary School - 112 Boulevard, NE
  • King Middle School - 545 Hill Street, SE
  • Young Middle School - 3116 Benjamin E Mays Drive, SW

The news comes just days after the district scaled back its meal distribution system from operating five days a week to just once a week in an effort to maintain safety. The district said that structure will remain in effect at the remaining eight sites, but added that it will monitor "health-related patterns" at each and will shut down sites where patterns emerge.

The district started its food distribution system back in March in the days after Gov. Brian Kemp mandated that schools would have to undertake digital learning to flatten the curve, or suppress the spread of COVID-19. 

While the program has kept kids who rely on school lunches for meals mostly fed, the district has worried about sustaining the program through the summer months and said in a virtual town hall meeting, Friday, that it would have to "come to an end," due to a lack of gloves and other personal protective equipment. A specific end date for the program was not given during the meeting.

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