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Football linked to COVID-19 cases at local schools, report says

Austin health officials have identified at least 25 coronavirus cases at local schools, with nearly half of them reportedly linked to football.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin health officials have identified 25 cases of coronavirus at local primary and secondary schools, according to KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman, and nearly half of those have been linked to football.

According to the report, Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott told Austin City Council members on Tuesday that clusters of cases have been found at four schools, meaning at least three at each location have tested positive. He reportedly said early indications show 11 of the 25 cases related to these clusters are linked to football strength and conditioning activities.

The Statesman reported that, for privacy reasons, Austin Public Health is choosing not to identify the schools where the clusters have been found. However, Dr. Escott said one school has put a stop to its football workouts.

Dr. Escott reportedly told the council investigations are underway in coordination with these schools to see if basic health guidelines were followed. He also encouraged schools to send letters to parents and guardians, alerting them of the current risks of extracurricular activities.


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The Statesman also reported Dr. Escott said although there are clusters linked to these schools, the Austin-Travis County area as a whole is improving in fighting COVID-19. The report states the seven-day average of new cases and daily new hospitalizations are both at the lowest they've been in three months.

However, with the Labor Day weekend and school reopenings in the area, now is not a time to ease up on safety precautions.

Austin ISD students are allowed to return for in-person learning in October. The first day of online learning is set for Sept. 8.

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