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Schools proactive in COVID safety

PLYMOUTH – As schools continue what has become an arduous task of keeping athletes safe in the hopeful return to the possibility of some sort of fall athletic season, two schools have had the first-hand experience in dealing with a COVID-19 positive athlete.

At Bremen High School a female athlete had a positive test for the virus and Glenn High School had a male athlete who also had a positive test.
In both cases, the policy of the schools involved was one of transparency while staying in compliance with HIPPA laws.
On July 16 Bremen discovered a positive case of the virus in a soccer player and took immediate action suspending all practices for the team.
“We don’t want any misinformation out there,” said Bremen Superintendent Dr. James White. “Frankly there is a lack of really good information out there and we have a commitment to get information out as soon as we are aware of it.”
“Fortunately our soccer team was taking the precautions that we asked them too,” said White. “They were working just in pairs with maybe a coach present so the contact was determined to be minimal.”
The team took the Health Department recommended 48 hours to determine if there were any symptoms. There were none.
White is cautious about a return to play for the fall.
“I wish I knew what was going to happen as we go forward,” said White. “I know that many of our parents are concerned about seeing their child participate in whatever sport and we understand that.”
“If we are only allowed to have several hundred people in the stands I’m not sure how we are going to enforce that, I mean, I don’t have a police force if it comes to that,” said White. “But we will work with the local health department for guidelines as we move forward and we will do whatever we have to.”
Yesterday John Glenn schools reported that a member of the football team had tested positive but fortunately had not had contact with the team for over a week. The school still suspended practice as a precaution for other coaches and players.
“Obviously HIPPA laws forbid me from going into great detail,” said Glenn Superintendant Chris Winchell. “We were notified by a parent that their child had tested positive and we took immediate action.”
The fact that the parent of the child had reported the situation made Winchell confident in the consideration of another situation.
“I was asked if I was confident in going back to school in the fall,” said Winchell. “What I am confident of is the John Glenn community. The fact that one of our parents stepped forward doesn’t surprise me at all. That’s why I’m not concerned about going back to class, we have that kind of support from the community.”
“We are constantly weighing our options and the number one concern has to be the safety and well being of our students,” he said. “We want to give our students the social and extra-curricular opportunities that opening the campus will give them within that framework.”

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