KHS announces athletics shutdown through July 24

KHS+has+shut+down+all+fall+sports+practices+through+July+24%2C+when+the+situation+will+be+re-evaluated.

Kate Schreiber

KHS has shut down all fall sports practices through July 24, when the situation will be re-evaluated.

Update: KHS football workouts will resume Monday, July 27, according to a tweet by KHS football on Wednesday, July 22. Corey Nesslage, athletics director, said that the goal was to get further removed from the Fourth of July weekend, and Farrell Shelton, head football coach, made the decision to get students back to workouts. St. Louis County announced that high school sports must return to phase one, which means there can be nine student-athletes in a workout group with one coach. Nesslage said that boy’s cross country will resume activity next week as well, which will abide by the same guidelines. In regards to getting to the August 10 start date of fall sports and the August 24 start of the academic year, Nesslage said “#WearYourMask” and “be mindful of where you are socially.”

 

A KHS football player tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday, July 12. Farrell Shelton, head football coach, called families of students in the same workout group as the student that tested positive, and an email was sent out to student-athletes and families alerting them of the situation. The 14 other students in the workout group were asked to quarantine for two weeks. Since then, KSD administration has been made aware of several positive cases of COVID-19 and announced the decision to shut down all fall sports workouts through Friday, July 24. The district will re-evaluate the decision at that time. According to the KSD website, as of July 17, three positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported.

Corey Nesslage, athletics director, announced the closure in an email to head coaches, who then shared the information with student-athletes and families on Tuesday, July 14. The email stated that through contact tracing (tracking the people that have been in contact with the individual that has tested positive for COVID-19), it was determined that COVID-19 was spread at a group of student’s Fourth of July gathering. 

According to Nesslage, KSD administration will make a decision on sports based on the spread of COVID-19 in the Kirkwood community, St. Louis metro area and the state of Missouri. Nesslage also said that all guidelines given by the St. Louis County Department of Health are being followed. In addition, a panel of doctors and nurses, including infectious disease experts, are advising Kirkwood’s handling of COVID-19. David Ulrich, KSD superintendent, announced the implementation of the KSD Health Advisory Group in a district-wide newsletter Thursday, July 9.

Nesslage’s email also urged parents and students to report any illnesses or COVID-19 cases to coaches in an online form, stressing the importance of “honesty and transparency”. The KSD lead nurse, school nurse and the student’s principal will receive the form. Student-athletes that test positive for COVID-19 may also directly notify a head coach or principal. Nesslage said that his goal is to get to the August 10 start date of the fall season in the best situation possible. He emphasized the importance of following guidelines like social distancing, wearing masks and staying in “your bubble of people.”