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Positive COVID-19 case within Douglas program jeopardizes game at Damonte Ranch

Ernie Monfiletto
Ernie Monfiletto's program at Douglas High is on pause after a positive COVID-19 test within the program. (File)

The Douglas High football team has paused all team activities and practices after a positive COVID-19 test within the program. The Tigers are scheduled to play at Damonte Ranch on Friday in a game that was going to be televised on Nevada Sports Net, although the positive test means it's unlikely that game will be played on that date.

All NIAA-sanctioned football players and coaches are required to take one COVID-19 test per week, and the Douglas results from Monday's testing period came back with one positive result. The team is scheduled to test again Friday.

"Douglas County School District is confirming a single COVID+ case within the varsity football program at Douglas High School," the Douglas County School District said. "According to the DCSD 'Fall Sports' Reopening Plan, which follows the state’s emergency directives and is developed with guidance from the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, 'If a coach, manager, or student-athlete of the team tests positive for COVID-19, the entire team (if they have been in close contact with the positive individual) must quarantine for 10 days. All team activities and practices must be canceled for 10 days during the quarantine period. The 10-day quarantine period may be reduced to seven if all who had been in close contact test negative starting on day five five from the most recent exposure."

Douglas and Damonte Ranch could potentially play Saturday if everybody in the Tigers' program produces a negative test Friday. The Douglas football team's most recent exposure to the positive case came last Friday, so a negative test on the fifth day from most recent exposure could reduce the quarantine period to seven days, allowing for the teams to potentially play Saturday rather than Friday.

Douglas County School District is working with Carson City Health and Human Services and NIAA while following procedures outlined by local health officials. All Douglas team activities and practices within the varsity football program have been canceled until further notice. The district will provide additional information as it becomes available, including the potential cancellation and/or rescheduling of upcoming games. Due to privacy laws, no other information will be released about this case or those who will be excluded from school.

“Every case has its own level of complexity and we always work with our local health officials to identify close contacts," DCSD Superintendent Keith Lewis said. "We are taking every step as recommended by local health authorities to contain the spread. At this time, our focus is on ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and staff."

If Douglas (1-1) and Damonte Ranch (2-0) are unable to play this week, the Tigers are scheduled to host Reno on March 26 while Damonte Ranch would host Bishop Manogue that same day. This is the first known positive COVID-19 case inside a Northern 5A football program since the governor's office gave the green light last month for a six-week high school football season. At the NIAA level, only football players and coaches are required to take a weekly COVID-19 test given its a full-contact sport.

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