MAC ON SPORTS: DPS61 EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE, WORKOUTS SUSPENDED

J. Thomas McNamara

    District 61 this afternoon (Friday, July 24) released information that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19, and that all athletics and other extracurricular activities have been suspended (paused) indefinitely.
    District Athletic Coordinator Joe Caputo, , who took over responsibility for athletics after Dr. Fred Bouchard left June 30, said the district has “indefinitely” paused summer voluntary workouts and conditioning programs.  The decision was “precautionary.”  The pause began today (Friday, July 24).
    “We made a district decision to pause on all voluntary summer workout conditioning programs at the elementary, middle and high school level,” Caputo said.
    A DPS 61 employee in the district tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the pause.
    Here’s the district’s statement, “We have been notified that a Decatur Public Schools employee has tested positive for COVID-19,” read a statement provided by DPS.  In the interest of privacy, DPS will not confirm the site or department for any employee who may report a positive COVID-19 test.  We have been in contact with the Macon County Health Department and are following their guidance as they manage contact tracing. In an abundance of caution, DPS has terminated all voluntary sports and extra-curricular activities on school grounds for the remainder of the summer.
    “We have no more details to release at this time, concluded the district’s statement.
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.  Earlier this week it was announced that a St. Teresa football player had tested positive for the virus as well that temporarily shutdown its football workouts as well.
    Also, representatives of the Illinois High School Association, the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education met today (Friday) to discuss guidelines to proceed for playing sports this fall.  IHSA Assistant Executive Director Matt Troha said no announcements were expected from today’s meeting.
      The IHSA Board meets Wednesday, July 29, to discuss the future of all prep sports.  An announcement on the board’s decision will be made at that time.

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