This is a developing story.

Update 11/18/20: On Wednesday November 18th, the Cheer team shut down practices due to a potential COVID-19 exposure. Athletic Director Paul Snow explained in an email to parents of Cheer athletes, “We have to cancel both cohorts of Cheer practice today and won’t resume until further notice. There was a potential exposure to COVID by someone in one of the cohorts and we’re awaiting a test result. Out of extreme precaution, we are cancelling both cohorts until further notice.” The Chronicle is still waiting for comment on if there has been spread of COVID-19 within either cohort.

As school and district administration receive added pressure to go back to school sports are a first step to see if an in person return can be done safely. M-A’s administration is trusting athletes and coaches to stay safe, and follow masking, health screening, and social distancing protocols. The District’s COVID-19 protocols require coaches to report positive cases within their cohorts to Administration.

Recently, the varsity football team had their first covid case. A player found out they had tested positive and notified the head coach. Head coach Christopher Saunders then wrote an email on October 28th to the players and their families, notifying them that a player had tested positive. He also cancelled practices for 12 days. They resumed practicing on November 9th.This followed a similar incident over the summer where a member of the JV football team tested positive for the virus.

 

The email Coach Saunders sent to the football community following a player’s positive COVID-19 test results

According to Administrative Vice Principal Stephen Emmi, The player contracted the virus through the outside community and did not spread it to anyone in their cohort. The player’s pod shut down and was instructed to quarantine for 14 days. Emmi said, “once administration was made aware of the cases following protocol, only close contacts, per San Mateo County Health, were notified and instructed to quarantine”. Emmi also said that “there was no spread within the pods and no player or participant became COVID-19 positive due to participation in conditioning.”

Another local high school, Carlmont, had a similar incident. They had a larger outbreak than the one at M-A, and the principal Ralph Crame wrote an email notifying all students of Carlmont high that a few students were positive for coronavirus. An article written about the incident by the Scott Scoop mentioned that Carlmont implemented new protocols such as “a new screening process for campus visitors” and also only allowing visitors to enter from one gate to lessen the chances of exposure or spread. Since the COVID-19 case at M-A, no new protocols or rules have been set in place.

Annie Wagner

Annie Wagner is a junior and first year journalism student. She enjoys writing about sports and what’s going on in the MA community. In her free time, she enjoys running track and hanging out with her friends. She is also part of a local magazine and a spanish tutor for local elementary school kids.

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