Alcovy vs. Eastside

Cross-county rivals Alcovy and Eastside meet at Sharp Stadium in Covington, Ga., on Sept. 1, 2017.

The Newton County School System has suspended fall extracurricular activities indefinitely.

That includes the high school football season, which was to begin Sept. 4.

In a statement Friday afternoon, the Covington-based district said exposure to COVID-19 continued to affect extracurricular activities despite adherence to Georgia High School Association guidelines.

“Each high school experienced cases of screening out athletes due to possible contact and/or symptoms,” the statement said. “Three groups of student-athletes experienced short-term suspension of activities due to possible exposure to COVID-19.”

The district’s leaders previously decided to postpone the start of the school year and adopt a 100% virtual learning model.

“In keeping with the same objective, NCSS leadership has determined that the risk of transmission supersedes our desire to continue extracurricular activities at this time,” the district said in its statement.

That means activities are suspended as of Monday. Newton County joins its neighbor Rockdale County in suspending fall sports.

“District and school leadership will continue to monitor all indicators and will consider restarting activities when those indicators are favorable,” the district said.

The Walton County School District has no plans to follow Newton’s lead, public relations officer Callen Moore said.

“We will continue to follow GHSA guidelines and recommendations,” she said.

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