Clinch County suspends in-person high school for 10 days

HOMERVILLE, Ga. – A high school in a south Georgia county is stopping in-person instruction for 10 days because of high numbers of COVID-19 exposures.

The Clinch County school system closed 350-student Clinch County High School from Friday through Sept. 28, saying many students have been exposed to the coronavirus and are under quarantine.

The rural county just north of the Florida line has had the eighth-most cases per capita among Georgia counties in the last 14 days, according to numbers kept by The Associated Press.

Statewide infection numbers stopped falling this week, with the seven-day average drifting back above 1,700 on Friday. That may be in part because testing numbers have bounced back up, pushing above 20,000 on average this week.

The number of people hospitalized statewide in Georgia with COVID-19, another key indicator, continues to fall, with the seven-day average falling below 1,500 on Friday for the first time since July 3. Total confirmed deaths reached 6,537 Friday, while total confirmed cases neared 303,000.

Clinch County said it was sending students home with computers so they could participate in distance learning, but said all extracurricular activities including sports are suspended during the period.

The 1,300-student district is keeping its combined elementary and middle school open, saying it’s had no infections confirmed there this week.

“We need your help in keeping our students and community safe," the district wrote on social media. ``Please encourage students to social distance during this closure. If they have been identified as a close contact, they should quarantine at home.”

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