Two more central Pennsylvania high school athletic teams dealing with COVID-19 cases

  • At least five District 3 athletic programs have reported positive COVID-19 tests.
  • The latest schools to report positive tests are Big Spring and Exeter.
  • Cedar Cliff, Shippensburg and Lampeter-Strasburg have also reported positive tests.

The number of central Pennsylvania high school athletic programs dealing with COVID-19 cases continues to grow.

Big Spring School District in Cumberland County has suspended all activities associated with its volleyball team for 14 days after it was confirmed on Monday that a student-athlete tested positive for COVID-19. The two-week suspension will give students and their families time to monitor for symptoms, Superintendent Richard Fry said in a statement posted on the district website.

Exeter Township in Berks County, meanwhile, reported in a Twitter statement on Sunday that one of its football players had tested positive. That program has also been suspended.

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That follows similar recent cases at Cedar Cliff High in Cumberland County, Lampeter-Strasburg High in Lancaster County and Shippensburg High on the border of Franklin and Cumberland counties.

All of those schools are in PIAA District 3, which also includes York County. To this point, there have no publicly reported cases involving York County athletic teams. Cumberland and Lancaster counties both border on York County.

The latest news comes just days after the PIAA said it plans to begin the fall sports season on time.

PIAA opts to stay course for now, won’t change start dates for fall high school sports

"While protocols that were in place for team workouts may reduce the likelihood of any spread, the reality is that COVID-19 isn't predictable and this safety precaution is necessary," Fry said. "While this one case was isolated to one sport within our district, we operate as a family and as a result this districtwide communication was necessary."

Fry urged the public to remain vigilant in social distancing, the wearing of masks and the quick reporting of any symptoms or cases that may indicate COVID-19.

According to an Exeter statement, the district said athletes “may have been exposed to COVID-19 while at football practice between July 1, 2020 and July 15, 2020.” The district said in the statement that football workouts will be suspended for the next 14 days and that all football players and coaches are encouraged to self-quarantine.

Central Pennsylvania schools cancel workouts after positive tests for COVID-19

Shippensburg suspended its football and basketball activities last week after a player who worked out with both teams tested positive. In addition, the Cedar Cliff boys’ soccer and field hockey programs suspended workouts after a player from each team tested positive. The Colts baseball team also dropped from the Central Penn Varsity League after a player tested positive.

Lampeter-Strasburg has suspended its football workouts after a coach tested positive.

Reach Steve Heiser at The (Carlisle) Sentinel, through the TNS wire service, contributed to this report.