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Wake County high school football games postponed because of COVID-19 cluster on teams

27August 2021

KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WTVD) — Knightdale High School’s Friday night game has been postponed because of a COVID-19 cluster on the team, the Wake County Public School System confirmed.

Sanderson High School’s game was also postponed, according to the school’s athletic director. A cluster that included team members was reported at the school Aug. 17, according to the district.

Some of the measures the district is considering taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 affects student-athletes, such as requiring face coverings indoors and outdoors, including during athletics.

“We have to do the measures,” said Diane Person, whose son is on the Knightdale football team. “This is a time of, you know, we don’t know how it’s being contracted and how quickly it can contract. So, if we can do our part to minimize that, that’s the ultimate goal to me.”

Her son, 17-year-old Tyson Holmes, does not have COVID-19, she said, but he did have to quarantine.

The district is also considering regular COVID-19 testing for all student-athletes, though proof of vaccination would preclude them from having to be tested.

Wake County School Board Chairman Keith Sutton told ABC11 that they are seeing a spread in sports and outdoor activities and that something needs to be done.

The district will discuss these measures during its upcoming Sept. 7 meeting. Sutton alluded that a decision could be made sooner by staffers or the superintendent.

A Wake County Schools spokesperson told ABC11 that it is “possible that some minor adjustments could be made prior to the board meeting but the big items will require a vote.”

About 60 new COVID-19 cases that are pending or confirmed were reported by the district on August 25, with 140 cases reported the first two days of this week. Monday was the first day for students on a traditional calendar.

One option that could be considered is having athletes wear face coverings. If that happens, Sutton said there would be mask breaks.

“Well he’s done it before,” Person said. “They’ve had to do that before so he’s not, he’s not indifferent about it. Like I said, I just like them to be safe. If they have to wear a mask outside then so be it. What’s concerning to me is being able to breathe with all the equipment and a mask on, but I certainly understand that it needs to be done.”

Person said she supported regular testing.

“I think that’s a good idea, she said. “I mean, the bottom line is that everybody is safe, and they’re not, you know, contact tracing, making sure that everybody is healthy, that they can play.”

Wake School Board member Roxie Cash told ABC11 that she would support testing for athletes but only for all athletes — vaccinated and unvaccinated.

“The Delta Variant is being carried by both vaccinated and unvaccinated at this time,” Cash said in a statement. “I have no opinion on the masking yet, but I would support testing of both vaccinated and unvaccinated athletes at this time. I do not know what we will be voting on in the meeting on Sept. 7.”

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