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COVID-19 halts conditioning for two Forsyth County teams
North Forsyth players take off on a kickoff drill during spring practice in 2017. - photo by Brian Paglia

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This story has been edited to reflect that a family member of one of Lambert's competition cheerleaders tested positive for COVID-19, not a student.

A pair of Forsyth County teams put conditioning on hold this week after either a coach or student tested positive for COVID-19, Forsyth County Schools Director of Public Information Jennifer Caracciolo confirmed Thursday.

Forsyth Central's volleyball team shut down conditioning this week after an assistant coach tested positive, while a North Forsyth student tested positive last week, leading the Raiders to shut down summer conditioning. A family member of a competition cheerleader at Lambert tested positive, though the student did not.

"They happen to already not have (conditioning) this week, but with the 14 days, we went ahead and extended it," Caracciolo said. "They won't return for conditioning until July 6."

The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) began easing restrictions this week, allowing an increase in the number of people allowed fields and in gyms, as well as permitting players to use sport-specific equipment. 

Groups of 50 people, including coaches, are allowed to use school facilities, doubling the previously allowed number. The GHSA allowed schools to reopen for conditioning on June 8, limiting the number of people in a group to 20 before increasing that number to 25.

However, while the GHSA suggests preventative measures, how schools respond to a positive test is left up to the district. 

"We have a custodial crew that goes in, and we have foggers," Caracciolo said. "So, it's not just that we're physically wiping down the surface and cleaning the surface. We're also fogging that environment. That has a turnaround of a day, that you can go back into that environment."

Caracciolo added that teams conditioning at the same school are isolated from one another and use different facilities.

After learning of a positive test, the student or coach notifies the school's athletic director, who then notifies Forsyth County athletic director Nathan Turner. From there, the county nurse is notified, then that nurse follows up with the health department.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, four Gwinnett County students or staff members participating in summer conditioning recently tested positive.

Positive cases have also been reported at summer conditioning programs in Cobb, Effingham, Glynn, Long and Paulding counties. 

As of 3 p.m. Thursday, Forsyth County counted 737 cumulative cases of COVID-19, including 84 hospitalizations and 15 deaths. 

Forsyth County saw its highest one-day total of new cases Tuesday, when 34 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

In Georgia, there have been 71,095 cumulative cases, with 10,457 hospitalizations and 2,745 deaths.