Person connected to Huntsville High School football team tests positive for COVID-19

WAAY 31 acquired an email from coach Mark Fleetwood informing parents of the positive case and warning them of possible exposure.

Posted: Jul 28, 2020 6:38 PM
Updated: Jul 28, 2020 10:06 PM

WAAY 31 obtained an email from Huntsville High School Tuesday night saying all on-campus activities are suspended because of another coronavirus case. The suspension is until 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

This email comes the day after we learned about a second person connected to Huntsville High School’s football team had tested positive for coronavirus.

In an email acquired by WAAY 31, Huntsville football head coach Mark Fleetwood informed parents that an individual “associated” with the team had tested positive for coronavirus and warned that anyone at practice last week “may have been exposed.”

Tuesday, Huntsville City Schools did not note any changes to its athletics plan, only stating that the district is continuing risk mitigation efforts, with temperature checks, sanitation and face coverings already in place.

Football players spent part of the day practicing, as long as they hadn’t come in contact with the individual who tested positive.

Even though schools have put strict safety measures in place to protect students athletes, medical professionals such as Daniel Clark, lead athletic trainer at Huntsville Hospital, believe the spread is inevitable.

“It’s coming and all the coaches know that -- more than likely -- if they don’t already have an athlete, they will have an athlete that will get it,” Clark said.

Dr. Ali Hassoun, the infectious disease expert for Huntsville Hospital, previously told WAAY 31 that students should not be playing sports right now.

On Monday, the hospital’s CEO and Mayor Tommy Battle expressed concerns that playing sports will lead to more cases -- a thought shared by Clark.

“As soon as they leave campus, you have no idea what those athletes are doing,” Clark said. “At the house, going to the beach, going to Nashville, going to Huntsville ... it’s really hard for you, at a high school level, even a middle school level, to kind of encourage them to still practice social distancing and masking.”

Today I reached out to several athletes and parents of the Huntsville High School football team to see if the recent cases had raised concerns or impacted their decision to play. None of the requests for comment were answered.

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