All Fulton County School System schools and offices will be closed on March 10 — and possibly longer — due to a teacher’s confirmed case of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection, Superintendent Mike Looney said at a March 9 press conference.

Fulton County Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney speaks about an employee testing positive for coronavirus at a March 9 press conference. (Hannah Greco)

The district will take the day to clean all schools and to talk with staff members and families of students who possibly had contact with the teacher. Looney said the district will have a decision on March 10 by 5 p.m. about whether the closures will be extended.

“I would rather close school to make sure that, one, we understand the level of risk that’s out there, if there’s any additional risk,” Looney said. “And two, that we have the opportunity to re-clean schools in preparation for concern.”

The teacher, who has not been identified by the district, teaches at both Bear Creek Middle School and Woodland Middle School in South Fulton.

The district was notified of the positive test around 11 a.m. on March 9 from the Fulton County Board of Health and shortly thereafter, Bear Creek, Woodland and Creekside High School were dismissed early, Looney said. Creekside was dismissed early because of its proximity to Bear Creek and Woodland, according to Looney.

Looney said the teacher felt ill at work at Bear Creek on March 6 and 911 was called. The teacher was transported from Bear Creek to a local hospital, but Looney did not disclose which one.

“The folks at the school felt the teacher was having some other type of emergency,” Looney said.

The district does not have any information about how the teacher contracted the virus, Looney said. The district did not provide the teacher’s county of residence.

In addition to the school closings, the district has canceled a Fulton County Board of Education work session scheduled for March 10 at the North Learning Center in Sandy Springs.

The 10th Annual STEAM Showcase hosted by the Sandy Springs Education Force, scheduled to be held March 11 at North Springs High School in Sandy Springs, has been postponed until further notice due to the school closure.

–John Ruch contributed

Update: This story has been updated with information about the postponement of the annual STEAM Showcase.

Hannah Greco is writer and media communications specialist based in Atlanta.