COVID-19 exposure causes Gwinnett school to cancel next two football games

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Another Gwinnett County school has canceled football games because a student on a team they played against tested positive for COVID-19.

However, the team with the player who tested positive is continuing with their normal schedule.

Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas went to Peachtree Ridge High School, where he has been looking at the difference between districts.

Peachtree Ridge High School doesn’t have a direct positive case on their football team, but after playing against a team with a player who tested positive, their next two games are canceled while players quarantine.

They played against Centennial High School last week, and that team had a player with a positive COVID-19 test.

Peachtree Ridge’s principal sent the following notice to parents:

" ... none of our players are currently positive for COVID; however, we have had some student-athletes sidelined as close contacts who will need to quarantine."

Public records show 10 Peachtree Ridge students are currently under quarantine. Fulton County administrators confirmed that five Centennial players are also in quarantine.

The difference between the two districts is that while the Gwinnett school has canceled the next two games due to the exposure to COVID-19, Fulton has made the decision to continue playing, with its next game scheduled against Riverwood this Friday.

“I talk to coaches all the time about, ‘you are going to have to be nimble here,’” Gwinnett County Athletic Director Ed Shaddix said.

Shaddix says COVID-19 issues are adding a whole new level of anxiety to the season, but his district is following the advice of medical experts.

“Typically, it doesn’t take the whole team, so you have the ability to compete,” Shaddix said. “Sometimes these large screen outs make it so you aren’t competitive, so it’s unsafe to play.”

Shaddix says it’s about player and staff safety right now and not wins or losses.

“We can’t compete without a healthy staff and healthy students,” Shaddix said.

The Georgia High School Athletics Association says overall, schools are handling this season well.

Last Friday, 100 out of almost 120 scheduled games were played.