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Lincoln Southwest freshman football team member positive for COVID-19
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Lincoln Southwest freshman football team member positive for COVID-19

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A Lincoln Southwest High School freshman football team member has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a message sent to families.

The team member went to the health office Wednesday and staff identified the person as having symptoms common with the virus, the message said. They were sent home and chose to be tested.

Southwest athletic director Mark Armstrong said the Silver Hawk varsity football team members had no contact with the infected individual and is continuing to practice.

LPS officials wouldn't say whether the team member was a player or a coach.

School officials said they were working directly to notify the high-risk close contacts, including members of the freshman football team. The team member participated in freshman football practice this week, and others who participated in the Monday and Tuesday practices have been identified as high-risk contacts and instructed to quarantine.

There are three coaches and 58 students on Southwest's freshman team, not all of whom were at practice this week, LPS officials said.

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Through contact tracing, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department officials determined the person was not in high-risk contact with any Southwest students or staff in school during the first day on Wednesday. Just freshmen were in school on Wednesday.

LPS officials have said high-risk contacts involve being in close contact for more than 15 minutes with no masks.

The LPS protocols and contract tracing worked as they were supposed to, the family message said.

LPS pointed out in its email that if families have not been directly called, then their student is not considered a high-risk close contact. Questions should be directed to the Health Department, 402-441-8006, or a health care provider.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or mreist@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSreist

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Education reporter

Margaret Reist is a Lincoln native, the mom of three high school graduates now navigating college and an education junkie who covers students, teachers and policymakers inside and outside the K-12 classroom.

High school sports reporter

Ron Powell is a longtime prep writer for the Journal Star. He covers high school football, boys basketball and track as well as state college football and Husker and professional tennis.

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