Tracers find COVID-19 spreading through sports in Montco, full teams quarantine: Officials

Officials also gave an update on a Montgomery County youth coach who tested positive.

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Thursday, July 30, 2020
COVID-19 spreading through sports leagues in Montco: Officials
Montgomery County officials say entire sports teams have had to quarantine after a positive test.

NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- In Montgomery County, contact tracers are seeing COVID-19 spread through sports and athletic teams, both indoors and outdoors, health officials said Wednesday.

"When we get good contract tracing, we learn from that information and then we can let you know what types of activities are putting individuals at risk," Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh said.

"Over the last two weeks, Montgomery County tracer providers and the Office of Public Health have investigated individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 that have actively participated in outdoor sports leagues including baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, as well as some indoor basketball tournaments," Arkoosh said.

The majority of cases were not feeling symptoms at the time they participated in the sports and didn't know they were carrying the virus, Arkoosh said. They began to develop symptoms one to three days after the events.

Due to the close contact in these sports where social distancing measures could not be maintained, entire teams have had to quarantine for 14 days.

Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh also gave some new information on a youth coach who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Concerns Over Parties

Arkoosh said the county is also seeing increased cases coming from social gatherings such as parties, indoors and outdoors.

"We've seen graduation parties, Fourth of July parties, and other social gatherings turning into COVID-19 super-spreader events," Arkoosh said.

She said when people are crowding together inside or outside without sufficient physical distancing and not wearing masks there is "a large risk of transmission."

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Coach Cooperating

Arkoosh gave some new information on a youth coach who tested positive for the coronavirus and did not provide full details to the county's contact tracers regarding others with whom the coach had contact with while being considered infectious.

She said the individual did not coach any games after receiving the positive COVID-19 test result. She also said the coach did not attend a party after getting the result.

Arkoosh said the coach, at first, did not fully comprehend the importance of providing as much information as possible to contact tracers, but now fully understands. She said the coach has agreed to providing all the information possible and is encouraging others to fully cooperate with contact tracers.