Member of Hall High School football team in West Hartford tests positive for COVID-19

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WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — West Hartford public schools sent a note out to the school community Monday reporting a football player at Hall High School has tested positive for coronavirus.

The letter was sent out on Monday and states the district was notified Sunday that the student had tested positive.

According to the letter from Assistant Superintendent Andy Morrow, the student last attended classes on Sept. 18 and has been directed to stay home in isolation. The student participated in football practices last week, so all players and staff who had close contact with the student have been identified and are also beginning a 14-day quarantine period.

The school says once the student developed symptoms, he was tested and placed into quarantine. And for now, it looks like it may be only limited to one case, but the test results are still pending on several athletes.

Morrow’s letter also says that the nursing staff and Health District will work together to follow up with parents of the quarantining students to monitor for any signs of illness.

Ruth Campbell, a parent of a Hall student-athlete, tells News 8 of the positive test, “I hope he is well…They did the responsible thing as soon as they knew he was sick, they called the school and the communication was sent to us.”

As a result of the effectiveness of the school’s cohort and social distancing systems, Hall High School will remain open. Monday, students are off for the Yom Kippur holiday but will be back for in-person classes Tuesday.

Parents News 8 spoke to said they are not surprised at all – they expected cases of the virus to show up at the school. They are surprised, however, it was only one case.

“I have a freshman here at Hall,” Campbell said. “He is on the football team and they’re really good about the mask and the rules and the coaches are communicating really well. We are getting emails and they’re supportive. If you don’t feel like sending your kid, they are on top of it!”

Mark Zadi, a Hall student also said he was surprised there was only one case of the virus at the school. He expected more.

As far as the football season goes, officially it’s been canceled. But there is talk that other football programs will try and hold an unofficial season, but right now that will all be on hold for Hall High School’s varsity team as many are in quarantine waiting for the test results.

Student-athletes say health and safety come first, sports second.

Brendan Canarie, the captain of Hall’s indoor track team told News 8, “You always think it’s never going to happen to you guys, and they have people you know, and then, there it is! I’m praying for him and his family, and he’s definitely worried about everyone you know. It’s hard, you know, being the first.”

“I am glad it’s not as many as I think we all thought,” Campbell said. “We will have to see as we go forward, but I think it is not unexpected that we are going to have a couple here and there, and we are going to have to see how things go forward.”

Parents say the students know how important it is to wear their masks and social distance because it’s their hopes for a season on the line. Now that they have been quarantined, if football should start back up and there’s an outside league, where does this leave them?

“We’ve been following the CDC guidelines about 15 minutes within 6 feet…so far as of right now they are moving forward with the regular practices,” Campbell explained.

Parents say they know the students are doing everything they can to keep the football season hopes alive. Parents are also doing everything they can at home because the students may not necessarily be catching it at school. He might get it from a family member, so they’re keeping everybody and anybody safe and reducing the risk to the football team.

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