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A football coach at Walnut Grove High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

Walton County School District public relations officer Callen Moore confirmed to The Tribune late Friday afternoon that the coach had tested positive and would be quarantined.

The Walton County School District released this statement:

“A Walnut Grove High School football coach has tested positive for COVID-19; however, because of the school’s diligence and preventative measures, no students were in close contact with this individual. The coach was asymptomatic the one day he was on campus and has not returned since. Based on the Department of Public Health guidelines, no students have been recommended to seek testing or to quarantine at this time. As a precaution, WGHS coaches who were in close contact with the staff member will be tested in the coming days.”

Due to privacy concerns, the coach has not been identified.

There have been 377 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Walton County as of 2:50 p.m. Friday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Of those, there have been 56 hospitalizations with 28 deaths.

The week of June 28 through July 4 is a GHSA “dead week,” so conditioning and other team activities are suspended across the state. No students were on the Walnut Grove campus Friday, Moore said.

The Georgia High School Association recently allowed teams to resume summer workouts earlier this month with a limited number of participants in each group. Last week GHSA upped the number of people allowed in a group from 25 to 50 and allowed the use of sport specific equipment such as footballs during workouts.

The positive test at Walnut Grove is the latest involving a high school coach or athlete in the state. Earlier this week Gwinnett County Schools confirmed Four students or staff members taking part in summer sports conditioning at Discovery, Mill Creek, North Gwinnett and Parkview high schools tested positive for COVID-19. In Cobb County, three positive tests were confirmed involving atheltes or coaches. Glynn Academy, Effingham County and Long County High School all suspended workouts until July after athletes at each school tested positive.

Summer workouts in all sports are voluntary until July 27 for football and Aug. 1 for other fall sports. Those are the dates that mark the official start of those seasons.

Walton Tribune publisher David Clemons contributed to this report.

Brett Fowler is the sports editor of The Walton Tribune. He is a 2016 graduate of the University of North Georgia and a 2010 graduate of Monroe Area High School. Brett has been covering Walton County sports since 2011.

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