Presumptive Covid-19 Halts Canby High School Athletics

Practices for all Canby High School athletic teams and activities have been suspended for one week (Nov. 9-15) due to a presumptive case of Covid-19 linked to the football team, school officials reported Sunday evening.

“At our practices, we follow the strictest guidelines given by the local health authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Oregon Department of Education to protect our students and staff from the spread of Covid-19,” Canby Athletic Director Ben Winegar said in a message to student-athletes and families, which was shared with the Current. “These guidelines minimize the spread of Covid-19 at any of our supervised events and we work hard to enforce them.

“All of us need to make good choices as we approach the pivotal holiday season. We all want to return to school and athletics, and our actions will determine our future opportunities.”

The district has health and safety protocols in place to assist local health authorities in tracing all contacts in the event of an exposure. Clackamas County Public Health will directly notify anyone who may have been exposed, Winegar said.

“Our priority is always the health and safety of our student athletes, coaches, advisers, and their families,” he said. “We want to make sure our students are healthy and prepared when they return to compete and participate.”

Students who test positive for Covid-19 undergo a 14-day rest period once they are symptom-free, and a minimum eight-day return-to-play protocol recommended by sports medicine and school associations.

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Winegar referenced Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s press conference Friday, in which she warned that a continued surge in new cases of the novel coronavirus could lead to more restrictions in the most impacted counties — including Clackamas.

“I want to take every measure we can so our athletes have the ability to return to in-person learning and the possibility of returning to competition,” Winegar said. “We must collectively work toward these goals.”

He encouraged students, families and the greater community to follow the prescribed health guidance: limit social gatherings, wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain your physical distance.

“These precautions are necessary to help slow the spread of the virus,” Winegar said. “If we do not take these actions, our athletics programs and future competitions are in jeopardy.”

Practices for most sports resumed at Canby High School this summer, following strict guidelines imposed by both the school district and Oregon School Activities Association to protect athletes and coaches. This is the first known case of the coronavirus linked to athletic activities in Canby.

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