Summit School District reports outbreak of 2 cases among athletes

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add comments from Summit High School Athletics and Activities Director Travis Avery.

Summit School District officials reported an outbreak of two cases among athletes on a Summit High School winter sports team on Wednesday, Jan. 27, according to a district news release.

The school’s Athletics and Activities Director Travis Avery was unable to say which sport had the outbreak or whether any teams have been placed in quarantine. The two athletes were in close contact with each other, leading the two cases to be considered an outbreak as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Avery said officials don’t believe the spread occurred at practice.

According to the news release, the two athletes have been placed in isolation and any individuals who are considered close contacts will be placed in quarantine. The high school’s learning schedule will not be disrupted.

In late December, the Colorado High School Activities Association received a variance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that allowed winter sports to begin practice Jan. 18. The practice and competition are allowed to take place regardless of the county’s level on the COVID-19 dial.

Each sport has its own set of regulations. In general, masks must be worn by athletes and spectators at all times with exceptions for swimming, wrestling and spirit activities during competition. When not actively engaging in competition, those athletes must wear masks, according to the variance approval letter from the state health department.

Aside from the requirements from the state, Avery said the school is taking extra precautions by creating cohorts within teams to limit contact. For example, the basketball program’s varsity, junior varsity and C teams are not practicing together.

“We’re really trying to encourage families to make sure they’re following those commitments to containment and doing their best to limit their student-athlete’s social situations, whether that’s being smart about carpools or whether their kids go hang out at a friend’s house,” Avery said. “Things like that all have an impact on us being able to complete the season successfully or minimize missing games.”

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