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COVID-19 Impacts Two High School Football Teams

DRAPER, Utah — The coronavirus has made its way to two high school sports teams in Salt Lake County. A team member at Corner Canyon High and a member of the coaching staff at Herriman High have both tested positive for COVID-19.

As long as the state remains in yellow status, competitive sports are part of the equation again. That’s why school administrators and health experts said while the risk doesn’t go away, they have to do their best to minimize it.

A lot of people would like it if fields would not remain empty this coming school year, but put players on the field, and the potential for COVID-19 spread is there.

“We’re headed into a school year unlike any other,” said Jeff Haney, Canyons School District spokesperson.

Haney said sports are just one piece of what administrators are looking at for the coming months.

But while following state guidelines, many teams were already practicing.

That changed for the Corner Canyon football team, when one player tested positive for the virus.

“The practices were canceled for the rest of the week last week,” Haney said. 

Seven days later, practices were starting up again. But that player and a couple of others who were in his lifting and position group were still in quarantine.

“And the parents were given that opportunity to make the decision for what was best for their own families,” Haney said.

A message that was sent out to parents said the player was asymptomatic when diagnosed, and that anyone who does not feel comfortable does not need to come to practice.

And more recently in Herriman, a member of the Herriman High football coaching staff tested positive for COVID-19.

He, along with staff and players, were under quarantine, while practices were canceled. 

“We understand that there is a risk, and we do everything that we can to protect ourselves,” said Rob Lund, safety officer and liaison with the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Lund consulted with the Jordan School District on their plans for sports.  

While players can remain distanced off the field, he said football is still very much going to look the same as it always has.

“I mean, you’re going to be in close contact, and so that’s a challenge and a risk that I think each of you have to make,” Lund said.

The Salt Lake County Health Department will conduct COVID-19 testing for the Herriman football team members and staff Wednesday to check for any other possible cases.

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