GEORGIA (WTOC) - The Georgia High School Association says schools reported more than 600 positive COVID-19 tests of student-athletes and coaches across the state since the workouts restarted last month.
In a memo sent to member schools Tuesday, the GHSA says they received reports of 655 positive coronavirus tests for student-athletes and coaches, as well as nearly 1180 screen outs. The GHSA says a “screen out” is when a player or coach is kept out of practice after a temperature screening or health questionnaire when he or she arrives.
Teams were allowed to begin voluntary conditioning workouts on June 8.
“It is our belief that this data is incomplete and varies due to individual Infectious Disease Plans formulated by each member school,” GHSA assistant director Don Corr told WTOC in an email. Corr also serves as the GHSA’s sports medicine coordinator.
Reporting positive tests is not required by GHSA guidelines. The GHSA says this data is aggregate and for decision making purposes.
Football programs in Georgia were allowed to begin mandatory practice on Monday, with no restrictions on group size.
Since workouts were allowed in early June, several teams in the area have stopped and restarted activity after a positive case.
Two area teams confirmed recent cases to WTOC. Benedictine tells WTOC a player tested positive early this week. Vidalia announced on social media Monday a coach has tested positive.
Both teams are now following their schools' protocols as they continue practice.
“We’ve been uber-focused in on following every protocol we have,” Benedictine head football coach Danny Britt told WTOC over the phone Wednesday night. “As we go through everything, from working out to practicing to signing in, we’re constantly looking at what we’re doing and improving on it every day.”
Teams can begin practicing in pads Saturday, with the first games of the season scheduled for September 4.