A Kokomo High School football player has tested positive for COVID-19, Kokomo School Corporation confirmed in a statement released Thursday.

The KSC release about the situation said that the student had not physically attended school this school year. School began on Wednesday.

The release said that KHS immediately notified other student-athletes who were impacted by the player’s positive case. Furthermore it said the Howard County Health Department notified student-athletes and their families if they were believed to have been in close contact with the player who tested positive. The Indiana State Department of Health defines close contact as being within 6 feet of another person for more than 15 minutes.

“Our athletic teams have been working diligently to follow our established protocols to limit exposure,” Kokomo AD Nick Sale said in the release. “These protocols include symptom checks upon arrival at practice, intensive cleaning measures, and the use of ‘pods’ for much of the early season. Because of the use of ‘pods,’ a limited number of football players were in ‘close contact,’ and thus, may have been exposed.

“Therefore, the football team is continuing with practices, without the small number of potentially ‘exposed’ student athletes, who must quarantine for the required 14 days.”

A pod system means players are broken into groups, or pods, in practice so that each player is in close contact with a smaller amount of people than if all players were together.

The Indiana State Department of Health’s coronavirus website indicates that 855 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in Howard County as of data through Wednesday.

KHS also announced that a planned football scrimmage vs. Zionsville set for Aug. 15 has been cancelled. The remainder of the season is expected to proceed as planned, however the release said the schedule remains fluid as the availability of opponents may fluctuate due to changing circumstances.

Kokomo is scheduled to open the season on Aug. 21 with a first-ever meeting against Howard County rival Western, at 7 p.m. at Walter Cross Field. Former Wildkat player Austin Colby is in his first season as Kokomo’s coach, following two seasons at Maconaquah.

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