The American Canyon High School football team ceased offseason workouts last week due to a possible COVID-19 exposure that ultimately came back as a false alarm.
“It was a kid, who was multi-degrees removed from an infected person, and one of those degrees tested negative and the family is still doing health precautions,” explained American Canyon head coach John Montante. “The kid didn’t test positive, the family didn’t test positive; it was one of the degrees that tested negative from that positive person. We should be in the clear.”
Out of an abundance of caution, Montante ended the workouts last week, which have been taking place since June with strict health and safety guidelines in place, and sent everyone home upon initially learning of the potential exposure.
“Because of the safety protocols that we had in place with our groups, a majority of players didn’t even have access to this particular student,” he said. “Because of testing protocols, he’s safe, and because of group protocols, everybody else is safe. So we’re good on that.”
Mike Pearson, Assistant Superintendent of Operational Services for the Napa Valley Unified School District, confirmed the incident on Wednesday.
“All our NVUSD summer athletics conditioning programs follow strict safety protocols for COVID-19,” he wrote in an email to the Register. “Following these protocols and acting out of the utmost of caution, we did suspend summer conditioning at ACHS due to a possible COVID-19 exposure. After a complete and thorough investigation, it was determined the athlete had not been exposed and therefore summer conditioning resumed.”
When contacted Thursday, Montante said that offseason workouts had been suspended at all high schools in the NVUSD due in part to the postponement of the fall sports season to December. He said the district would be reexamining best practices for sports going forward and that workouts may start again in September after the school year begins.
On Monday, following the announcement of the postponement of fall sports, Montante said while his team was in the clear to resume workouts he and his staff were still weighing whether or not to continue.
“We know our timeline is December and it’s July 20. What is that? Five months and change?” he said. “So right now it’s about mitigating the risk, still keep the kids involved but we want to make sure we mitigate the risk and keep people safe.”
Workouts were approved to start on June 15 by NVUSD. To date this is the first known incident of any workouts being stopped due to COVID-19 concerns.
Contact Gus via phone at 707-304-9372 or email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustGusMorris.
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