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Memorial suspends some girls programs’ workouts over possible exposure

Memorial High School has temporarily suspended summer workouts for volleyball, girls basketball and girls soccer “out of an abundance of caution” after a student-athlete on Wednesday was shown to have a low-grade fever, athletic director Brian Morgan said Thursday.

Follow-up discussions with athletic trainers and the student led school officials to send the student back home.

“We take temperatures daily,” Morgan said. “An athlete showed up Wednesday with low-grade fever. It was just a little higher than normal, and it wasn’t really high by any means. It just kind of showed some minor symptoms, minor signs and we sent her home immediately.”

Thursday morning, Morgan said the school began the process of determining who else the student may have come into contact, which prompted the school to suspend summer sessions for the three girls programs. All other sports will continue summer sessions.

“Our male and female sports are really completely separate from one another this summer,” Morgan said. “It’s probably being over-cautious, to be honest with you. We’ve had contact with parents, and in all likelihood she’s probably all right, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, just in this instance. We have not had a positive test. It’s a possible exposure, but we don’t have any kind of positive case at this time.”

Practices are suspended for 14 days and will resume July 1, though Morgan said if the student’s test results come back negative for COVID-19, practices would resume immediately.

“We just want to be careful,” Morgan said. “We don’t know enough, and I don’t think the doctors know enough to be careless with it. That’s why we spent Thursday morning researching who could this student have come in contact with in the summer workout programs, and we’re probably reaching further than who she actually came in contact with, but it’s better to be safe right now.”

Morgan said he’s keeping in constant contact with school district officials, and that the school is following all the guidelines set out by the University Interscholastic League to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. He said those regulations are partly why the rest of the programs are allowed to continue practicing.

“Some school districts have been very quick to cancel everything broadly,” Morgan said. “I don’t think that’s the nature of the guidelines that were put in place. I think they were put in place for that not to happen, actually. If you’re following the guidelines, you stay in small groups so if there is a possible contact or exposure or positive test, yes it eliminates one group from getting to continue on but it doesn’t shut down everything.”