Oologah-Talala Public Schools temporarily suspended summer activities after learning of a coronavirus infiltration in its athletics bubble.
The athletic department announced on Twitter at 10:48 p.m. Wednesday that a family member of a student-athlete tested positive for COVID-19. No athletes have contracted the novel coronavirus.
In the tweet, OTPS said the shutdown “is just a precaution to protect our student athletes.”
This news comes less than a week after the Stillwater and Perkins-Tryon school districts postponed summer workouts due to a spike of COVID-19 cases over the past week in Payne County.
As of 2 p.m. Thursday, Payne County has 156 confirmed cases.
According to the latest data released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Rogers County has 98 confirmed COVID-19 cases accompanied by five deaths and 82 recoveries.
Only seven cases total have been reported in Oologah and Talala.
OTPS athletic director Brady DeSpain said, “I don’t know if frustrating is a good word to use, but we’re obviously going to err on the safety of kids no matter what. We adopted the guidelines just like a lot of the schools did. We’re just pretty much following those guidelines, and like I said, safety first.”
OTPS opened summer workouts on Monday, June 8, and was going into its fourth day of Phase 2 when the cancellation was made.
Full preseason practices with no restrictions for all fall sports were scheduled to begin June 29.
DeSpain said the school district’s administration will meet to reassess the situation in the coming week, and most of the information that comes from that will be released on social media.
With the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic striking once more so early into the reopening period, the future of 2020 fall sports could now be in jeopardy.
As of 2 p.m. Thursday, there are 8,904 confirmed positive cases in Oklahoma and a total of 364 deaths.
“It’s hard to answer that because there’s just so much unknown, but we’ll see what the OSSAA has to say,” DeSpain said. “It’ll come from that governing body. It’s going to be something that’s gotta be more than my opinion, obviously. There’s still so much unknown, so we’ll just follow the OSSAA’s lead and recommendations. I’m sure the CDC and health experts and all that stuff will come into play with how they approach it as well.”