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South Albany, West Abany activities suspended due to off-campus COVID cases
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South Albany, West Abany activities suspended due to off-campus COVID cases

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Greater Albany Public Schools suspended South Albany and West Albany high schools from all extracurricular activities after each had a student not involved in athletics or activities test positive for COVID-19.

The school district made the decision in following with Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education mandates.

South Albany officials learned Monday that a student had tested positive Oct. 1. In following protocols and a 14-day quarantine period, all activities have been shut down through Wednesday, athletic director Jason Platt said.

News of the positive test for a West Albany student also came Monday. Athletics and activities there have been suspended for two weeks, until Oct. 26.

Neither student was known to have been recently on campus at their respective schools.

The school district is working closely with the Linn County Health Department and following health guidelines to make sure contact tracing is conducted in an effort to prevent spread of the disease, said district spokesperson Andrew Tomsky.

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The 14-day quarantine starts when symptoms begin or a diagnosis takes place, whichever comes first. The South Albany student was first symptomatic on Oct. 1, Platt said.

The competitive schedule under the Oregon School Activities Association, the state’s governing body of high school athletics and activities, begins Dec. 28 with roughly two months for each sports season.

West Albany broke up the OSAA’s “season 1,” from Aug. 31 to Dec. 27, into three six-week sessions to allow each of the three sports season to have priority in one of the sessions.

That was done to take pressure off multi-sport athletes that they might be missing out on something.

“So it gave us a chance to work with the kids and gave them an opportunity to get involved with all their teams,” said West athletic director Patrick Richards.

South Albany is coordinating a similar program.

Monday was to be the first day of West’s second six-week session with fall sports as the priority. Spring sports had priority in the first session, while winter sports are to be priority in the last. Under the OSAA’s revised calendar, winter sports are the first scheduled to compete this school year, with the first practice slated for Dec. 28 and the first competitions on Jan. 11.

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