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Old Mill High School varsity boys soccer team participant tests positive for coronavirus; in-person practices stalled until Nov. 9

Old Mill High principal Alison Mikeska wrote in a letter to families that the person, who was not identified as a student-athlete or coach, attended in-person the first day of fall sports practices at the school Oct. 19 and Oct. 21.
Old Mill High principal Alison Mikeska wrote in a letter to families that the person, who was not identified as a student-athlete or coach, attended in-person the first day of fall sports practices at the school Oct. 19 and Oct. 21. (Matt Hazlett/Baltimore Sun Media Group)

A participant of Old Mill High School’s varsity boys soccer team has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the school’s principal.

Old Mill High principal Alison Mikeska wrote in a letter to families that the person, who was not identified as a student-athlete or coach, attended in-person the first day of fall sports practices at the school on Monday and Wednesday last week.

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“We have been in communication with the Anne Arundel County Department of Health and that agency has determined that those who attended the practices of Oct. 19 and 21 are considered close contacts of the person who tested positive,” the letter states. “As a result, those persons must quarantine for 14 days and should be tested for COVID-19.”

In-person practices for the Old Mill varsity boys soccer team will not be held until at least Nov. 9 “out of an abundance of caution," the letter states. Participants deemed close contacts will not be allowed to practice until their 14-day quarantine expires. Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms will not be able to participate.

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Other sports programs at Old Mill will be allowed to continue practicing as the protocols in place kept individual teams from interacting or sharing spaces.

AACPS spokesperson Bob Mosier said he “cannot provide any further specifics on the case other than what is contained in the letter,” but added, “this is the first case I am aware of involving a participant in one of our athletic programs.”

Practices for fall sports teams in Anne Arundel County began Oct. 19 and will run for four weeks through Nov. 14; the spring sports teams will practice Nov. 16 through Dec. 19. Winter sports teams will practice Jan. 4 through 30.

For all 14 schools, each team will have two days of practice per week, with each session limited to two hours, not including any virtual meetings.

Numerous rules, restrictions and protocols are in place to keep student-athletes and coaches safe and best prevent a coronavirus outbreak.

Groups are limited to 50 student-athletes and players. Coaches and student-athletes are required to wear face coverings “anytime someone’s not physically exerting themselves,” said Anne Arundel County Coordinator of Athletic Clayton Culp. Coaches are being asked to design practice plans that maximize the space of their field, court or gymnasium to allow for social distancing.

High school sports in Anne Arundel will resume Feb. 1 after the Board of Education voted unanimously Oct. 6 to approve the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s two-semester plan.

However, Superintendent George Arlotto noted the MPSSAA is awaiting approval by the state to move the start date from Feb. 1 to Dec. 7, which the county would adopt.

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