TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Health officials say Vigo County high school athletic teams are marked as COVID-19 hotspots.
Through contact tracing the Vigo County Health Department says they are able to locate COVID-19 hotspots throughout the county.
“When we start to see a trend, a lot of positives or a lot of people having to be quarantined, that’s kind of what we consider a hotspot area,” said Roni Elder, Vigo County health educator.
Elder says there are currently several areas that have been marked as hotspots.
“Bars and restaurants, and local large universities,” Elder said.
Another hotspot that was recently identified are high school athletic teams in Vigo County.
Over the course of the past few weeks cases have been confirmed in both Terre Haute North and South athletic programs.
Elder says while following health guidelines at the event itself is important, she says what students do off of school grounds is also key.
“They’re hanging out together, they’re having sleepovers, going out to eat after practice and then they’re not wearing their masks so where as the exposure to COVID-19 could’ve been very few, it then becomes a lot of people. It can become the whole team if they’re not careful,” Elder said.
During Monday’s school board meeting, Vigo County Schools superintendent Dr. Rob Haworth brought the issue to attention.
“We as a district will need to a better job of maintaining the controls during the contest. Students need to be masked, athletes need to masked,” Haworth said.
Haworth is also asking students, parents, spectators, and athletes to help create a culture of safety.
“Then maybe, just maybe we will be allowed to continue with athletics throughout the school year. I can guarantee you if we don’t then athletics are in jeopardy,” Haworth said.
In a letter to parents, Haworth said, “Currently, there’s no evidence that our extracurricular activities have contributed to any spread of COVID-19. Let’s keep it that way.”
More from Haworth’s letter below.