Beekmantown youth soccer COVID case led to Clinton County school closure
BEEKMANTOWN, N.Y. (WCAX) - Clinton County, New York, officials are providing more details on a youth soccer game that led to Monday’s decision to shut down in-person learning for the entire district after just five days of class.
Beekmantown Central School district officials say the case of a second grader that tested positive for COVID-19 and a teacher that is believed to have the virus, are connected.
The district says that 50 people are now in quarantine and they believe it all started on a soccer field. “No, I’m not nervous, but I am concerned,” said Beekmantown Town Supervisor Sam Dyer. He says he’s concerned about the possibility of cases spreading into the community, but he says that there’s a plan in place in case that situation were to happen. “From the school, to the town, to the county to the health department, we are all on the same page.”
Because of the COVID protocols the district has followed, Dyer says this shouldn’t be a major spreading event.
“If this individual obtained the virus in school from being next to some other individual then we need to recalibrate, and the gold standard that has been communicated to us may not be working,” said Beekmantown Superintendent Dan Mannix.
Clinton County Health Department officials say anyone who was in close contact with the infected person -- within 6-feet for longer than 15 minutes -- will need to quarantine for two weeks. Contact tracing is still ongoing but the district believes this case came from a youth soccer game. Two teams including players and coaches are in quarantine.
So what do youth sports look like in the era of COVID-19? Masks are not required when playing or practicing --it’s at the players' discretion. But if a player or coach is on the sidelines then they need to have their mask on.
“All things we haven’t had to think about in previous year,” said Terra Sisco with the Clinton County Youth Bureau, which sets the youth sporting guidelines for the county. They made those plans with the health department’s guidance.
“A lot of regulations that aren’t typically in place, all regarding safety,” Sisco said. He says that the soccer teams in question are not affiliated with the county. Nevertheless, he says they have suspended all practices and games that have a player on it from Beekmantown until the contact tracing is finished.
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