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Ohio County Athlete Tests Positive

WHEELING — Ohio County Schools Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones formally announced that a Wheeling Park High School student-athlete has tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon via the school’s social media.

Ohio County Schools was made aware of the possible case late last week after learning that one of a student-athlete’s parents had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Immediately, springing into action, Wheeling Park shut down its weight room, which had been open as part of the WVSSAC’s Phase 2, for the remainder of the day. It remains closed.

“We had been running the groups of 10 and doing everything as required by the SSAC in the phases when we got the call,” Jones said. “The group in which the student-athlete was part of had been in the weight room as of late last week, so we cleaned our weight room and sanitized everything, awaiting the results of the (student-athlete’s) test.”

Prior to opening its weight room, which was permitted in Phase 2, all of the workouts and conditioning were held at Wheeling Island Stadium. That allowed all of the athletes to have ample room, even within their pods, to have plenty of social distance

School officials received official confirmation of the positive test earlier on Tuesday.

Jones talked with Ohio Co. Health Department Administrator Howard Gamble, who told him that the other members of the pod in which the infected student was a part of should be quarantined as well until July 10.

Jones spent the majority of the afternoon on the phone, calling each student in the pod’s parents to inform them of the situation and that they were to quarantine.

Wheeling Park’s athletic workouts and conditioning, which will wrap up today before the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, are still ongoing. The only people not permitted to workout are those who were in the pod with the infected player.

As the Patriots inch toward the end of Phase 2, Wheeling Park athletics are slated to begin their three-week window of summer workouts, which the Ohio Co. Board of Education approved in late May, on Monday. Those workouts are more sport specific rather than just strength and conditioning.

According to Jones, whether or not that continues as scheduled will be discussed in the coming days.

“It’s going to be tricky the next few days as we try to decide the best option,” Jones said. “I hate to sound like we’d be canceling something for one kid, but we’re trying to protect ourselves to be able to get to August (when prep sports officially begin), so we don’t have quarantine during real practice time.”

Jones indicated that Wheeling Park may scale back some of their workouts during the three-week period just “to keep (student-athletes) active.”

“We might tweak what we’re actually allowed to do,” Jones said. “Or do we just keep moving forward as we had originally planned?”

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