Over 100 Rapid City Area Schools athletes quarantined after COVID-19 exposures
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Over 100 high school athletes in Rapid City Area Schools are in quarantine after recent exposures to COVID-19.
According to Rapid City Area Schools Communications Manager Katy Urban, the Stevens High School Football Team, Stevens High School Varsity Volleyball Team, and Central High School Cheer and Dance Team are in a seven-day quarantine.
Urban says there were six positive tests associated with the Stevens HS Football Team and the approximately 90-player football team is in quarantine. They went into quarantine Oct. 14 and can return Oct. 21 if asymptomatic.
The Varsity Volleyball Team did not have any positive tests on the team but Urban says a team member was exposed to a positive case outside the school. Their quarantine will be completed Sunday.
One member of the 23-person Central HS Cheer and Dance Team tested positive and the team remains in quarantine until the weekend as well.
All three organizations saw games or competitions cancelled this upcoming weekend. Stevens football is scheduled for their last game of the season on Oct. 22 and whether or not they play will be up to the coaches to decide.
Urban says coaches are not included in the quarantines as they are considered “critical infrastructure” and are allowed to continue teaching if they are asymptomatic.
Anytime a student tests positive, Urban says the school nurses are the ones conducting contact tracing. Given the nature of the sports, the decision to quarantine whole teams was on “the safe side.” The South Dakota Department of Health does conduct contract tracing but “more often than not, [the nurses] do.”
Urban says not other sporting teams or school organizations have been impacted by COVID-19. Wilson Elementary School remains the only school to be at a Level 3, but the district will assess the level choice Thursday.