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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / at Chattooga County High School on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 in Summerville, Ga. Thursday is the first day of school for over 2,600 students in the Chattooga County Schools system. As other districts around the state delayed their back-to-school days or moved to all-remote learning, Chattooga County school officials are going ahead with its plan to start school Thursday, one of the earliest start days in the nation.

Two students have tested positive for COVID-19 at Chattooga High School in Chattooga County, Georgia, one of the first high schools in the nation to open after the coronavirus forced schools to shut down in March.

In a letter sent to parents on Tuesday, Superintendent Jared Hosmer said the district is following the state health department's protocol and has reached out to the Chattooga County Health Department to start contact tracing.

Chattooga County Schools was one of the first districts in the country to reopen schools on July 30.

Hosmer told reporters Friday the first day of school went well. He did say a few things the district would work on, including making sure the pick-up line after school goes quicker so kids aren't standing around for a long time and gathered in groups. He also said while students seemed to have done a good job at the high school at staying on one side of the hallway in between classes and after school, they weren't always socially distancing.

Hosmer said Wednesday the two students who tested positive had been in school since Thursday's first day, but he redirected any specific questions to the local health department.

(READ MORE: Nearly all employees at Chattooga County Jail have coronavirus, symptoms)

Hosmer said the district is not considering issuing a mask mandate at this time. Her said he thought educators, staff members and students did a "pretty good job" at wearing masks but couldn't definitively say the percentage of people who wore masks. Hosmer did say he and his staff who visited every school wore masks indoors.

Cases in Chattooga County have been slowly climbing since late July. The state health department has reported 112 cases in the last two weeks. That's more than half of the 212 total cases reported in the county since the beginning of the pandemic.

The county's seven-day moving average sat at 8 new cases a day as of Wednesday morning, down from a record high set on July 28 of 8.3 new cases.

Two people had died from the virus in Chattooga County and six people had been hospitalized, including Chattooga County Probate Judge Jon Payne.

As of Wednesday afternoon, no other students had tested positive, Hosmer said.

A spokesman with the Georgia Department of Public Health did not return requests for comment.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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