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Memorial varsity football team clear of COVID-19 following positive test

No one else on Memorial High School’s varsity football team caught COVID-19 after one of the players tested positive a few weeks ago.

Head coach Brian Morgan reported Thursday (July 9) that all tests done on the 50 varsity players came back negative as of Monday (July 6). After the single positive result, Memorial coaches and officials decided on June 30 to suspend summer workouts for the team.

Following that decision, Morgan arranged to have his entire varsity team tested for COVID-19, in part as a precaution and in part to establish a baseline set of data for any future incidents that might occur.

Memorial staff can now be sure that, as of July 6, no one on the varsity team, besides one known athlete, had COVID-19.

“We’re just going to bring those kids back for summer workouts, so it limits the amount of students that are here in contact with us,” Morgan said. “We’re not going to bring any of our JV level, freshmen level or middle school kids up for the rest of the summer just to limit exposure if we can. We know those 50 varsity kids in the fall are likely going to be with each other a lot if we are going to have a football season. If somebody does test positive in the future, at least we know that as of July 6 everybody was negative.”
Morgan believes a few things helped keep the virus from spreading throughout his team. Masks were one of those things.

“I think wearing masks in the weight room, as much as they didn’t like it, that’s in an environment where it’s hard to keep them away from each other,” he said. “They’re breathing heavy because they’re working hard, and they’re in close proximity. If one person is lifting, for safety reasons another person is spotting them, and you can’t keep your distance, just from a safety standpoint.”

Another factor was the cooperation of his team with social distancing outside of workouts. Morgan said the athlete who tested positive did his due diligence to make sure he self-isolated.

“It probably benefited that the young man himself was not out and about in the community and not out and about, outside of football,” Morgan said. “He was at his house. He wasn’t out running around with the rest of the team outside of football. He thinks he knows where he got it from and was able to limit that, instead of being out at parties with other teenagers to where it spread to a bigger group.”
Morgan said the athlete who tested positive never showed symptoms. The athlete has undergone another test, recently, but the results hadn’t come back as of Thursday morning.

Morgan and the rest of the Memorial athletic staff and athletes are staying vigilant.

“Everybody’s goal is just to have a season,” he said. “We would like the kids to have some kind of season.”