Hamblen County Task Force discusses Hispanic outreach efforts

A West High School football player has tested positive for COVID-19 and football practices have been postponed until at least Monday, Dr. Jeff Perry, Hamblen County school superintendent, said.

Perry said school officials called parents Wednesday night to inform them of the positive result and he said some of the parents decided to have their children tested.

“Some of the parents were being cautious and wanted them to get tested,” Perry said.

He said there have been no decisions made yet on practices next week.

“We’re waiting to get results,” he said.

Perry said the students had been practicing in position groups to limit the possibility of the whole team being exposed.

He said once results come in there will be decisions made on whether or not other students need to be quarantined as well.

Perry said preparations for the upcoming football season will continue to go forward at this time.

The positive test comes just two weeks after Perry made the decision to delay schools until Sept. 8 as the school system prepares further for the possibility of more online learning as cases increased in Hamblen County.

The state reported 489 active cases in Hamblen County on Thursday. The county also saw one more death, increasing the total deaths from COVID-19 to 14.

The active cases have stabilized over the last week after reaching a peak of 512 active cases on Sunday.

West is not the only football team in the area to deal with positive tests. On Tuesday, Greeneville High School announced the postponement of practice for their football team until Aug. 10 after four players tested positive. The teams first contest against Powell, scheduled for Aug. 21, was cancelled after the staff feared that the student-athletes would not be physically prepared by then.

As the start of football season looms, there are still questions about the Citizen Tribune Kickoff Classic. Officials have said that the classic, which pits East vs West, might not be played on Aug. 20 as originally scheduled. Current plans point to Aug. 21, but those plans continue to be fluid, officials said.

Because of that uncertainty, the game will not be televised as originally planned.

Perry said Friday he is speaking with school board members and awaiting test results to make more decisions concerning the opening game.