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Derby High School football team to quarantine

Coronavirus in Kansas

DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) – Parents told KSN News Monday that the football team at Derby High School has been put on a two-week quarantine after at least one player tested positive for COVID-19.

According to parents, players were told Monday (Sept. 21) morning at practice that they would not be allowed to play or practice until at least Oct. 1.

However, late Monday afternoon, Derby High School said they have not canceled Friday’s game but confirm two positive cases relating to school, requiring temporary quarantine of the team. The district did not confirm the length of the quarantine.

On Monday evening, the Derby High School Athletics Director tweeted that the varsity football game vs Salina South will be played. Additionally, the Derby High School sent the following message to identified families:

“Earlier today, Derby High School was made aware of two positive cases, which required directing many students and staff to initially quarantine both in classrooms and the entire football team. Throughout the day and into this evening, the Sedgwick County Department investigated the close contacts further. Close contact identification is decided in partnership with the Health Department. They erred on the side of caution removing possible close contacts from school today while working to ensure they had the opportunity to properly identify close contacts of the positive cases and not take more individuals out of school than necessary. A total of 94 individuals were identified as close contacts of the two positive cases at Derby High School and should follow quarantine guidance. This includes individuals in the classroom with the positive case, identified members of the JV/Varsity football team, and the entire freshman football team. If you are receiving this follow-up message, this means you are allowed to return to school and do not have to quarantine. 

It is important we provide you accurate and thorough information. We would like to express our appreciation for your continued understanding and patience as COVID-19 continues to be an ever changing topic. As a reminder, in the event of any issue that affects student and staff health, safety or overall well-being, the notification first goes to families directly. For any COVID-19 cases (or any other communicable diseases) that may arise in the district, we consult and follow Sedgwick County Health Department’s direction and provide the necessary notification on a case-by-case basis. Close contacts will receive a phone call if they were exposed to an individual with a positive COVID-19 case. Derby Public Schools will also contact families/staff via email in the classroom of an individual who tested positive. It is important to know notification is prioritized by who is directly affected and identified as a close contact, followed by individuals who may have been in the same vicinity. Derby Public Schools will use this protocol when there is a COVID-19 positive case with one of our staff or students.”

In a Monday afternoon email to parents and Twitter post, Derby High School said, “The game on Friday has not been canceled at this point because the Health Department is working with one of the students who tested positive to determine who close contacts are or if the entire team has to remain in quarantine. We should have updated information from the Health Department soon.”

The district statement went on to say: “We will not be doing mass notifications for all positive cases to the entire school unless directed by the Health Department. Those identified as a close contact of an individual with a positive case would be notified as well as the classroom of the individual.”  

Parents tell KSN they were asked to pick up their kids from the school to start their quarantine.

Earnest Marcel Wash has two sons who play football for Derby. One of them is starting quarterback, Lem Wash. His father said Lem is devastated.

“He is extremely upset,” said Wash. “He felt like they were just getting into the groove finding their mark and now this happens.”

Wash said he is hoping to find ways to encourage the players while they are in quarantine. He said both of his sons were attending school in-person.

It is unclear at this time how this will impact the student body, but students were told the announcement by the principal over the intercom Monday (Sept. 21) afternoon.

“It’s just tough,” said Wash. “It’s tough to see their emotions and their tears in their eyes, because they just want to play so bad.”

KSN also spoke to Dusty Trail, head football coach of Bishop Carroll High School whose team played Derby High on Friday. Coach Trail said he was told none of the players who tested positive played in the game or traveled to the game. He said if more positive cases are confirmed for players who were at the game, he will reevaluate.

El Dorado, Haysville and Winfield also announced COVID-19 exposures on Monday.

RELATED LINK | Area schools ask teams to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure

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