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HS Football: Shippensburg shuts down practices after player tests positive for COVID-19
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HS Football: Shippensburg shuts down practices after player tests positive for COVID-19

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Shippensburg Football 9.JPG (copy)

A Shippensburg football practice in 2019. The Greyhounds will not hold practice for two weeks after a player tested positive for COVID-19.

Shippensburg is canceling the next two weeks of voluntary offseason workouts for football and basketball after a player on the football team tested positive for COVID-19.

Athletic director Michael Montedoro confirmed the news after ABC27 posted to social media a partial screenshot of an email sent by Shippensburg Area School District.

“We’ve shut down football practice for two weeks,” Montedoro told The Sentinel.

The email, sent by superintendent Dr. Chris Suppo to parents Monday morning and to The Sentinel in the afternoon, said the “student had minimal team contact in outdoor workouts conducted by the football team. Several days later, the student exhibited symptoms and was tested. As a precautionary measure, football team workouts are cancelled for the next two weeks.”

The boys basketball team will also not have practice for two weeks because some players on the football team also participated in voluntary offseason workouts for basketball.

The school district will sanitize the weight room, gym and rest rooms at the high school.

“We are encouraging boys participating in High School football and/or basketball to self-quarantine with their families,” the email said. “If students or family members exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms, parents should contact their family physician immediately to seek advice and be tested. As a reminder, if any student athlete tests positive for COVID-19, families should contact the student’s coach and school immediately.”

This is the first known positive test of the coronavirus in a high school athlete in Cumberland County since offseason workouts were allowed to resume in mid-June. On Monday, Lampeter-Strasburg canceled its football practices for two weeks after confirming a coach of the team had tested positive for the virus. The school had temporarily halted practices Thursday when it suspected a positive case, according to LNP.

Most school district workout guidelines, which must run in accordance with a June mandate from the Department of Education, are vague on specific measures taken if a coach or student tests positive.

Shippensburg does not have defined rules in place on its resocialization of sports guidelines, which were school board-approved June 24, about what happens with offseason workouts. That is standard among many plans that are posted to the public by local school districts.

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Shippensburg’s guidelines do say in the event of a positive test:

  • “It will be determined if others who may have been exposed (students, coaches, staff) need to be notified, isolated, and/or monitored for symptoms”
  • “If a positive case of COVID-19 is diagnosed, Contact Tracing will be implemented with the assistance of local health professionals and the CDC/PA [Department of Health]”

It also states if a student or coach experiences symptoms during a practice, the person will be immediately isolated and all students and coaches will leave the school. Anyone who tests positive must get medical clearance from a doctor before returning to the team.

Email Jake Adams at jadams@cumberlink.com or follow him on Twitter @jakeadams520

Mallory Merda contributed to this report.

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