The entire program — over 80 people — are now quarantining for two weeks
Just two days after winning the first state football title in the school’s history, the entire A.C. Flora high school team is in quarantine after one of their coaches tested positive for COVID-19.
The South Carolina school district confirmed Monday afternoon that all players and coaching staff, which numbers around 80 in total, are quarantined after the positive test was confirmed on Sunday. The test came just one day after the Falcons played the 4A championship game and pictures surfaced of crowds of students, coaches, and players huddled together not wearing masks.
It was the first time Richland 1 won a football title since 1970 which is cause for celebration were it not for a global pandemic that’s already killed 284,000 Americans. There are almost 235,000 cases in the state according to Johns Hopkins University, and an almost 9% positivity rate.
According to The State, some players could be seen climbing into the crowded student section, and students poured onto the field after they won the championship. That same night, A.C. Flora athletic director Edward Moore notified the team that a member of the football program tested positive earlier in the day. The person was said to be asymptomatic and is a coach for the team.
“We are requiring all members of the football program to quarantine until we have the opportunity to accurately contact trace,” Moore said in the email posted on the football team’s Twitter page Monday. “Once the process is completed, and we can more accurately determine who is considered a close contact, we will determine which individuals will need to remain in quarantine and which can resume normal activities.”
The school started the year all-virtual learning but shifted to a hybrid model in October where students alternated two days a week in classes. There is currently no statewide mask mandate in South Carolina and no restrictions placed on restaurants, bars, gyms, or other public businesses.
The North Myrtle Beach High School the team played is looking into contact tracing to determine if they need to quarantine as well.
In a moment where the coronavirus is spreading at a record pace throughout the US, allowing super spreader events like this to take place is abhorrent. We hit a record number of deaths in a single day on December 3, and will likely see another big spike after the Thanksgiving holiday when millions traveled home to be with family and friends.
Until basic public health recommendations are followed consistently across the country, we will continue to set records in cases and deaths, kids will be out of classrooms, many states’ youth sports will be placed on hold, mental health will continue to decline, and small businesses will go under. But hey, football is important and all that.