Positive Coronavirus cases found in area athletic programs
By TJ MAXWELL
The recent surge and Coronavirus cases in Texas has forced Governor Greg Abbott to pump the brakes on reopening and puts the fall sporting season in question as school districts throughout Texas report new cases.
The pandemic hit close to home as Copperas Cove ISD will spend its scheduled two weeks off disinfecting their facilities as they had a case of a freshman in the athletics program testing positive.
“We have our first positive test,” Copperas Cove Athletic Director Jason Hammett in a message to parents. We had a 9th grade football player go to the doctor for a non-Covid issue. There he was tested. The test was positive.
“We are off until July 9 for a planned break. All of our facilities will be cleaned again next week. The only group with possible exposure to this athlete is the incoming 9th grade group who attended workouts this week. Parents of incoming 9th graders, please monitor athletes that attended workouts for possible symptoms.”
Gatesville ISD was forced to postpone its summer session due to a junior high student testing positive.
“We will be shutting down all GISD summer workouts for the next two weeks,” Gatesville Athletic Director Rickey Phillips said in a letter to parents/athletes posted on the district’s website on Saturday. “This will include all strength and conditioning workouts, sport-specific skill sessions and sports camps that were on the calendar the weeks of June 29-July 3 and July 6-10. We will also be closing all GISD athletic facilities during this two-week period.”
All workouts for GISD are expected to resume July 13.
This news comes on the heels of China Spring ISD, Lorena ISD, Midway ISD and Robinson in the Waco area reporting cases in their athletic programs.
Midway Athletic Director Brad Shelton announced on Wednesday in a letter to parents that a student-athlete tested positive. Barring no setbacks, activities were set to resume this week.
“The students and coaches in their workout cohort have been directly contacted and will have UIL’s recommended two-week hiatus,” Shelton said in the letter to parents. “The weight room underwent a cleaning chemical “fog” Tuesday night and will be closed for deep cleaning tomorrow.
“As we all experience the increase in COVID-19 cases in McLennan County, Texas and the US, please remain vigilant in strengthening our personal health protection.”
Also, on Wednesday, China Spring notified parents that a student that participated in the Cougar Course tested positive in the
Lorena ISD reported that a student-athlete tested positive for the virus through a message to parents by Superintendent Joe Kucera. No activities are scheduled this week and the district will be closed next week (July 6 – July 10).
Robinson Athletic Director Brad Zeller said on Thursday that they will suspend summer activities through July 12 after a student-athlete in a small group of students and coaches were exposed during a basketball skills session.
The UIL recently updated its mandates regarding COVID-19.
The indoor capacity increased from 25 to 50 percent and increased group sizes of 25 outdoors was also approved on June 22, up from 15 per group. Students in indoor groups increased from 10 to 15 per group. The word ‘must’ was also changed to ‘should’ in the case of equipment being disinfected between uses and limiting the use of equipment to reduce further risk.
“If a positive case is identified among a participant in these summer activities, either staff or student, the group to which that staff or student was assigned and in contact with must be removed from the sessions while all members of the group self-isolate.” The UIL states in an update on their website. “If the confirmed individual regularly had close contact outside a single group, then all of the students and staff with whom the confirmed individual had close contact shall be removed from workouts for two weeks.”-ing_guidance.pdf.