A growing number of East Idaho high school sports teams are in self-isolation because of COVID-19.
As of Saturday afternoon, the Soda Springs High School football and volleyball teams, the Marsh Valley High School volleyball team and the American Falls High School boys soccer team were all self-isolating. Soda Springs Athletic Director Jeff Uskoski also confirmed Monday his high school’s cheerleading team was self-isolating.
In addition Idaho Falls School District 91 announced Friday that 11 of its students and six staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting 150 district students who had contact with those individuals to self-isolate.
The Highland High School boys soccer team just came out of self-isolation after one of the team’s players tested positive.
A Soda Springs High School football player tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, prompting the school to cancel the Cardinals’ Saturday home game against New Plymouth.
According to Soda Springs head football coach Colter Evans, the Cardinals have been in self-isolation since Wednesday, when the player’s test results came back positive for COVID-19.
The team will be out of self-isolation and back practicing on Sept. 21, two weeks after any team members had contact with the player who tested positive.
“We had a kid that had symptoms and was sent home from practice Monday,” Evans said. “We continued to practice through the week. On Wednesday, he tested positive and the school retroactively dated (the self-isolation) to Monday.”
Evans confirmed that so far, no other Soda Springs football players have tested positive.
The Cardinals’ non-conference game against New Plymouth, which was itself a makeup game after the Pilgrims’ scheduled contest against McCall-Donnelly was canceled because of COVID fears, is unlikely to be rescheduled.
Soda Springs is working to reschedule its game next week against Aberdeen, a conference opponent.
“The (high school’s) administration has done everything to keep us playing and get us back as fast as we can,” Evans said.
The Soda Springs High School volleyball team is also in self-isolation after one of its players tested positive for COVID-19, coach Shawnae Somsen said.
The volleyball team is scheduled to be out of self-isolation next week in time to travel to Malad for a match on Thursday.
Uskoski said the cheerleading team had a positive case, leading chearleaders to self-isolate. He said students who have been forced to self-isolate due to contact with a COViD-19-positive student have all attended classes by Zoom.
The Marsh Valley High School volleyball team is also in self-isolation after its players were exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus, Marsh Valley School District officials confirmed.
None of the team’s players have tested positive, district officials said, but the entire team is self-isolating for 10 days as a result of the exposure.
The American Falls High School boys soccer team is currently self-isolating after two of its players tested positive for COVID-19.
The Idaho Falls School District’s positive COVID-19 cases have been at several schools including Idaho Falls and Skyline high schools and Compass Academy.
There have been no reports about any of the East Idaho school-related COVID-19 cases resulting in any deaths.
Tracy McCulloch, with Southeastern Idaho Public Health, said Idaho’s school districts have elected to release their own information, so local health officials can’t divulge precise records on cases in schools. McCulloch said any student who was within 6 feet of a COVID-19-positive student for at least 15 minutes is being asked to self-isolate at home. She said the department is in contact with area schools on a daily basis.
“We expected cases and that’s what we’re seeing, and we’re working together to slow down the spread of COVID,” McCulloch said. “We appreciate the schools and what they’re doing.”
Southeastern Idaho Public Health confirmed 25 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, including five in Bannock County, nine in Bingham County, three in Caribou County, seven in Franklin County and one in Power County. The district now has 2,087 confirmed and probable cases, and 1,628 patients have already recovered.
The Post Register contributed to this report.