Westlake football suspends practice for a week due to COVID-19 cases

Local Sports

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Eanes Independent School District has suspended football practice at all levels of the Westlake football program for a week after four positive COVID-19 cases among staff and students.

Westlake’s upcoming varsity game against Bowie, previously scheduled for Oct. 16, has been moved to Nov. 12. The positive cases are within the entire Westlake football program, not just varsity, a district spokesperson said in an email.

“Eanes ISD administrators worked with Austin Public Health and Athletic Director/Head Coach Todd Dodge over the weekend and agreed to follow APH’s recommendation to suspend all football activities for one week, out of an abundance of caution,” a release said.

Westlake’s varsity team played at San Marcos on Friday night.

On Monday, a spokeswoman for Eanes ISD told KXAN two individuals were already in quarantine ahead of Friday’s Westlake game against San Marcos High School. Two others notified the district of their positive test results over the weekend, according to the spokeswoman.

The two who reported positive tests over the weekend were not at Friday’s game in San Marcos, as they are not affiliated with the varsity team, the district says.

Eanes ISD says the players and coaches who were in close contact with those who tested positive have been quarantining and will continue to for 14 days. However, the district could not provide a number of how many from the team are currently quarantining or whether any of those were among the group that traveled and played in San Marcos Friday. The district spokeswoman says the district will better be able answer those questions once contact tracing is completed.

“To our knowledge, the individuals with the Westlake Football team that tested positive for the virus did not travel with the team on Friday night. As always, our SMHS students and staff will continue to follow the SMCISD protocols in place to ensure the safety of all,” San Marcos ISD told KXAN in a statement.

Dr. David Hassinger of Direct Orthopedic Care works with local athletes and stresses that players who return after having the virus should be monitored closely.

“We are still learning things about the spectrum of symptoms that people get with COVID-19, and it’s not just a cold, and it’s not just the flu,” Hassinger said. “There’s a wide range of symptoms and issues that people can have, and so if somebody’s going back and they’re returning to athletics, you have to be very, very cautious about doing that slowly, and if they have any kind of symptoms at all, immediately stop.”

Hassinger says anyone who had contact with an infected player or staff member within three days of when that person’s symptoms started should be quarantined and tested.

Eanes ISD says it does not perform testing on its students or staff members.

Staff began a deep-clean of all athletic facilities at Westlake High School on Monday.

In recent weeks, Stony Point, Westwood, Weiss and Taylor have decided to pause football activities after positive tests within the football program.

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