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 ALACHUA ‒ Santa Fe High School has had to cancel its upcoming homecoming football game as a member of the team has been diagnosed with COVID-19. On Tuesday Santa Fe High School Principal Dr. Timothy Wright announced that varsity football team members have been quarantined at their homes due to a positive case on the team. The infected student was discovered after last week’s game, and due to the physical contact with the sport and as a precautionary measure he said the school has sent the whole team home for quarantine. If after nine days they still test negative they can return to school. Due to the quarantine, next week's homecoming game against Palatka has been canceled.

As soon as the positive case among the players was discovered, the school used seating charts to identify possible contacts and notified students and their parents.

“We have regulations that all students have to wear masks on campus. That was part of the requirements to attend in person. We also have six-foot social distancing seating in classes and temperature checks, so we are not too concerned about a general spread,” Wright said. “But, we can only account for a student's time on campus, so if any student was hanging out with the team off campus, especially without a mask, they should be monitored for any symptoms. It's up to the parents to ask the student if they have any reason for concern and act appropriately.”

Wright also said that the school has only had four cases among students this school year. “The safety of our students is our foremost concern so we acted in an abundance of caution by quarantining the team.” Wright added that the school follows all School Board of Alachua County system (SBAC) guidelines and that parents should not be worried as a whole. “However, they should be informed and vigilant in participating in our efforts to maintain their safety,” Wright said.

Overall, the SBAC has done fairly well on setting safety guidelines to contain the virus. While schools in Florida have reported over 4,700 positive cases, there have only been 113 in the Alachua County school district’s 39 schools since the beginning of the school year. Six schools have had no cases and the majority of others have had between one and five cases among either staff or students. Only two schools have had more than 10 cases, with Gainesville’s Bishop Middle School reporting 11 cases and Newberry High School reporting 25 cases.

While Santa Fe High School has been forced to cancel their Homecoming game on Oct.16, the next game scheduled for Oct. 23 is tentatively scheduled to proceed. The final decision will be made after the Santa Fe team's quarantine period is over and taking into consideration the situation at Newberry High School.

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