TALBOT COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) – The Talbot County School System had to shut its doors due to COVID-19 for a third time this school year. The school system was set to open following the holiday break on Wednesday, January 5th but had to push back the date due to the number of positive cases.

Dr. James Catrett, the Superintendent of the Talbot County Schools, said despite feeling frustrated because he could not welcome back the students he had to look at the numbers and make a decision to help stop the spread of the virus.

“We were prepared for this. Now, nobody likes it, we rather all be here at school but again, we have to be careful of our community and our kids,” said Dr. Catrett.

There are a total of 10 positive cases in Central Elementary and High School, three staff members and seven students. There are more positive cases during this closure than in September, the last time the school system closed due to COVID-19.

Students and teachers have continued their curriculum via Microsoft Teams and packet learning. Students are also receiving both breakfast and lunch the days the schools are not open.

Jonathan Taylor, the Principal of Central Elementary and High School, said the most frustrating part of having to shut the doors is not having students learning in person because he believes students learn better with hands on teaching.

“You try to do everything you can to keep the students, the faculty and the staff safe and maintain the learning that was going on before we went out. That can be frustrating but the whole world is dealing with this so we’re not the only ones in this situation so we’re trying to make the best of it,” said Taylor.

Taylor also said he hopes to bring the students back for in person learning when it is safe to do so but overall, he wants to continue the curriculum virtually so students are still learning at home.

The school system will make a decision by the end of the week to determine if students will be allowed to return to in person learning on Monday, January 10.