The Thurston football program has paused all team activities for at least two weeks because of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Justin Starck, the school’s head football coach and athletic director, wrote in an email Wednesday:
“Earlier this week, we were notified of additional COVID-19 diagnoses within our football program that were without clear connection to previously identified cases. Unfortunately, this is evidence that the program is experiencing community spread of the virus.”
After consultation with the Lane County Public Health department, the decision was made to temporarily halt all football activities in an attempt to limit transmission. All scheduled practices, conditioning and games between now and Sept. 7 have been canceled, meaning the Colts will not take the field for their scheduled season opener Sept. 3 against Southridge. Their Week 2 game at Churchill has been rescheduled for Week 6.
Students who are not vaccinated will be asked to quarantine throughout the entire two weeks, Starck said. Students who are fully vaccinated will be asked to monitor for symptoms and will receive updated information about opportunities for workouts.
Starck led Thurston to back-to-back Class 5A championships in 2018 and 2019. The Colts are widely expected to be among the top teams in Class 5A again this season.