COVID-19 clusters increase among North Carolina student athletes

COVID-19 clusters increase among North Carolina student athletes
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - North Carolina is seeing a sharp increase in COVID-19 clusters among its school sports teams.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says that between July 1 and Sept. 2, clusters among school sports teams accounted for 45 percent of all clusters in North Carolina middle and high schools.

Most school sports activities did not begin until August, as schools began the fall semester but it’s important to keep sports in schools.

“We need everyone, including our student athletes and their coaches, to increase layers of prevention to fight this more contagious Delta variant: Don’t wait to vaccinate and urge others to do the same,” said Dr. Elizabeth Tilson, state health director.

“Tested, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are the best tool for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Student athletes who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after a close contact with someone with COVID-19,” said Tilson.

NCDHHS says in order to keep sports being played, more safety measures need to be taken like masking up players on and off the field.

The DHHS says for the week ending Sept. 4, children age 17 and under made up 31 percent of the state’s new COVID-19 cases.

That is the highest percentage since the pandemic began.

Between July 1 and Sept. 2, there have been at least 42 athletics-related clusters in North Carolina public, charter and private middle and high schools according to state health officials.

School sports teams are urged to follow NCDHHS guidance for youth sports.

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