Anchorage School District volleyball season on hold after increase in COVID-19 exposures

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 11:32 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - In an email to parents and athletes in the Anchorage School District, school officials announced that the high school volleyball season will be closed for two weeks, starting Oct. 1

The closure comes as ASD volleyball teams have “experienced an increase in the number of documented exposures among players and coaches.”

In the email, the district says at least five teams at three different schools have been asked to undergo a two-week quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposures. Of those teams, four were asked to quarantine after a COVID-19 case was confirmed in a student who had played two other schools while in the infectious period, the district said.

The COVID-19 was reported in a volleyball player on the C team at A. J. Dimond High School in mid-September. Both Dimond volleyball C teams were placed in the quarantine and volleyball players at competing schools West High School and Service High School were also asked to quarantine.

Another team was asked to quarantine after an athlete developed symptoms of the virus, though the school district has not confirmed if the student tested positive for COVID-19.

“In addition to the team quarantines, several individual volleyball players from multiple programs have been required to quarantine for 14 days due to close contact with a family member or friend who tested positive for COVID-19,” the district said in the email.

The two-week closure is intended to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the volleyball community with the hope of resuming the season with less transmission of the virus.

“If we can all pull together during this time, our volleyball programs can return ready to play in two weeks,” the ASD email said.

The email to parents and athletes also listed recommendations for student-athletes: don’t carpool with other students, don’t have sleepovers, don’t engage in social gatherings in confined spaces.

The suspension follows the ASD case matrix plan, which states a suspension is advised when one or more COVID-19 cases are reported on multiple teams within a 10-day period. The matrix says that the sport will resume when able.

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