Schools to report cases weekly
COVID-19 prompted the Hart County High School versus Elbert County football game to be canceled after the Elbert County School District made the announcement Tuesday night, but Hart County won’t be without a game Friday night.
Hart County High School principal Kevin Gaines told The Sun on Wednesday that the Bulldogs are now scheduled to travel to Wayne County High School in Jesup to take on the Yellow Jackets. The Elbert County game is not likely to be rescheduled this season, Gaines said, because the Bulldogs now have 10 games on the schedule.
Elbert County announced the cancellation late Tuesday night via social media. Blue Devil coaches and players are quarantined, including head coach Shannon Jarvis. Elbert County superintendent John Jarvis told The Elberton Star that the school has not ruled out trying to reschedule with Hart County, if holes in the schedules open. The quarantine could jeopardize weeks two and three of the season for Elbert County as well due to the GHSA’s new five-day re-acclimation requirements to return.
“It is with great regret that I share with you the official announcement of cancellation for the Elbert County Comprehensive High School vs. Hart County High School, Varsity Football Game, scheduled for Friday, September 4, 2020, at the Historic Granite Bowl,” Elbert County High School Principal Jason Kouns said in a statement.
Kouns cited direct impact from the novel coronavirus as the reason for the cancellation.
“Unfortunately, this virus has found its way to the ECCHS Campus, and has directly impacted our Blue Devil coaching staff, and players,” Kouns said. “In an effort to ensure that ECCHS follows Department of Public Health guidelines, all individuals impacted through either a positive test result, and/or through contact tracing, have been instructed to quarantine at this time. Their required absence certainly puts the remaining members of our coaching staff and football team at risk, and it would not be wise to have them participate at this time.”
Hart County school officials said on social media tickets already purchased for the game could be refunded.
The public health state of emergency in Georgia was extended this week to Oct. 10 under a new executive order issued by Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday, Aug. 31 as the first cases in local schools are reported and the rate of COVID-19 infections locally appears to be declining.
Under Kemp’s latest order extending the public health state of emergency that was first issued in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the duration for which medically fragile individuals need to shelter in place is extended, as well as the ban on large gatherings of more than 50 people if social distancing can not be maintained.
Hart County Charter System officials released district-level numbers of infections this week. As of Monday, there were three students in the school system, out of 3,557, who are COVID-19 positive and four who have been quarantined for possible exposure. One employee in the Hart County system has tested positive for COVID-19, out of 515 employees in the system, and two employees have been quarantined for possible
Superintendent Jay Floyd said this week the system plans to release district-level numbers of infections every Monday.
There are currently 23 known active cases of the virus in Hart County as of Wednesday morning, county administrator and emergency management director Terrell Partain said.
The number of cases per 100,000 added in the past two weeks in Hart County has declined from 260 last week to 211 as of Tuesday, according to the Department of Public Health.
In total, Hart County has seen 11 deaths related to COVID-19. Three of those deaths involved patients with no comorbidity, which means other factors contributing to death. Five of the deaths involved comorbidity and three of the deaths are unknown comorbidity status.
Hart County has experienced a total of 420 confirmed cases since the DPH began tracking virus data in March.