COVID-19 tests for high school athletes not imminent – Orange County Register
Los Angeles County high schools are testing unvaccinated student-athletes for the coronavirus in moderate and high-risk sports like soccer, but it doesn’t look imminent in Orange County.
Dr Matthew Zahn, assistant health worker with the Orange County Health Care Agency, said on Friday that testing of high school student athletes was “not a direction we plan to go at this point.”
Zahn said the county has seen a number of cases, but overall the number of COVID-19 cases is declining after peaking about three weeks ago.
Two high-profile football games scheduled for Thursday – Pacifica-Foothill and JSerra-Newport Harbor – have been canceled or postponed due to concerns about the virus.
Newport Harbor has postponed its match after a single case of COVID-19 and required contact tracing. Foothill was able to reschedule with Sonora and performed on Thursday. Pacifica won a game against Brea Olinda for later in the season.
“We are monitoring this situation very closely,” Zahn said.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released an update on Wednesday that included quarantine recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated student-athletes if they were considered close contacts.
For those vaccinated without symptoms, they can “abstain from quarantine following a known exposure to a person suspected or confirmed of COVID-19”, specifies the CDPH. However, it is recommended that they still be tested and wear a mask inside for 14 days.
For the unvaccinated, there are quarantine guidelines that depend on wearing a mask, which is required inside schools.
Ideally for the masked, they can return to training in person if they have no symptoms and are testing but must be quarantined for athletics.
The shortest recommended quarantine is seven days, if there are tests, or 10 days without testing.
Corona del Mar football coach Dan O’Shea said last month his school did not monitor whether students were vaccinated or not.
âWe have certainly followed the line and respected the individual decisions of people as families with their young children, as well as our coaches,â he said. âWe do not ask and we do not say whether you have been vaccinated or not. It’s kind of our policy.
Corona del Mar senior Charlie Mannon, who had the virus in February, said last month that quarantine rules – already established at his school – had interested him in getting the vaccine.
“Since it’s a rule, I’m going to get the shot so that I don’t have to miss a game,” he said.
Please send football news to Dan Albano at [email protected] or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter