Summit High School sports team pauses training after contact with confirmed COVID-19 case
DILLON — The Summit High School athletics department is experiencing its first novel coronavirus-related incident, which has shut down offseason training for a Tigers program.
Summit High Athletic Director Travis Avery said Tuesday that a member of one of the Tigers’ teams informed the district they had been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Avery said he could not specify when the district was informed, which program was shut down or the person’s role within the team. He said the affected team is not practicing or training and that the individual quarantined for two weeks.
Avery said it’s the first coronavirus-related quarantine the athletics department is aware of since multiple school sports programs resumed practice in late June.
In terms of COVID-19 protocols, the athletics department is limiting activity to groups of 25 people outdoors and 10 indoors. Masks are required at all times while indoors and are required during drop-off, pickup and close group contact outdoors. Avery said all student-athletes and members of sports programs are conducting temperature checks and health questionnaires before beginning each practice or competition.
The three Summit High sports teams currently in season — golf, cross-country running and girls rugby — are continuing to practice and compete. Golf and cross-country are governed by the Colorado High School Activities Association while the girls rugby program is an independent, non-CHSAA program that is holding intrasquad, noncontact intramural programming through the fall. CHSAA delayed the football, boys soccer and girls volleyball seasons to March as part of a four-season calendar due to the pandemic.
Avery said it’s yet to be finalized when the affected team will be able to return to offseason training or whether the incident will alter the athletic department’s COVID-19 protocols moving forward.
“We are evaluating, making the right choice,” Avery said. “… And we are still proceeding with offseason training programs for those teams choosing to do so.”
Summit School District Superintendent Marion Smith Jr. informed the school board about the incident at Thursday’s virtual meeting. Smith said the district, once informed, consulted a preestablished cohort list as a contact-tracing measure.
“The program is not going to be able to train for a period of time,” Smith said. “All of those occupied spaces and equipment were disinfected and sanitized prior to the first day of in-person instruction.”
Smith added that the district is working to review the nature of how intramural and offseason sports will occur moving forward. The superintendent said he and district athletic officials have discussed how intramural sports and practices provide “a sense of engagement” for students.
“We are figuring out what that looks like,” Smith said at the meeting. “What is essential and what is something that’s not essential when we think about sports, knowing that it may limit a lot of opportunities for our students to have access? And we are also looking at performing arts, as well, what that looks like in some of our buildings.
“Because of COVID-19, we have to find and be a little bit more creative in the types of opportunities that students have outside of academics when sports and music were those key opportunities. And now we are limiting those based on safety, health guidelines and what has been communicated to us at the high school level there.”
Avery said he thinks the resumption of sports at the high school has gone well since the June restart.
“Everyone is real mindful of the expectations and guidelines placed upon them,” Avery said. “They respect it and are doing their best so their seasons don’t get interrupted. I think the challenge will continue to be, ‘Are people continuing to be mindful of what they do in their personal lives to help us protect the seasons?’”
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