Rapid coronavirus test result numbers released for Orange County high school football players

1,403 tests administered

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The results are in for the first round of rapid coronavirus testing for Orange County Public Schools football players, coaches and trainers.

Of the 1,403 tests administered this week, five were positive, according to the district. Players and staff members from 19 schools were tested with the goal of limited the transmission of COVID-19 among players and opposing teams.

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Those five cases were reported at Evans High School, leading to a cancellation of the team’s Thursday night game as players were ordered to quarantine.

“Right now we have been shut down for 14 days, who knows what is going to happen when we come back,” Evans High School coach Vernon Mitchell said Wednesday.

OCPS said another round of rapid testing will take place in two weeks.

Scott Howat, chief communications officer with Orange County Public Schools, said rapid testing will prevent COVID-19 cases from being spread to other schools as players begin competing against other teams.

“Our cohort of players that are together are one thing but then once they start competition and start cross, possibly, infecting the other schools and then taking it over to the other schools that thought was to invest in the rapid testing so they could be tested bi-weekly in order to ensure that the coaches, the trainers, the players are ... at least testing not positive before they’re competing with another team that could possibly be infected and then take it back to the school,” Howat said last week.

According to the OCPS coronavirus dashboard, 144 COVID-19 cases have been reported among students and staff members across the district since in-person learning resumed on Aug. 21.