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NAACP questions whether COVID protocols are being followed for high school football

LHSAA denies claims
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Posted at 4:32 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 19:44:24-05

LAFAYETTE, La. — The Lafayette chapter NAACP alleges at least on area high school football team is playing games despite possible COVID-19 exposure.

The local chapter of the NAACP is requesting an investigation after it says that local high school football players are being allowed to play games this weekend despite players' possible exposure to COVID-19 just before the Thanksgiving break and not following quarantine guidelines.

According to a release, from Lafayette Parish NAACP President Marja Broussard, the Louisiana NAACP has learned that footballs players at one area high school should currently be on quarantine due to direct exposure to coronavirus and/or possible positive test.

"The information we received indicates several players were exposed to multiple COVID-19 positive individuals just before the Thanksgiving break," the release states. "Our concern is whether or not they followed quarantining guidelines for those individuals, and whether the administration allowed these players to continue to attend school so it did not show them as requiring quarantine.”

The NAACP adds that LHSAA rules would prevent these student athletes from being allowed to play in games scheduled for this weekend because they would still be in quarantine. In addition, they say they've learned from multiple parents that several other area high schools are also quarantining their football players on school campuses.

The NAACP says that its State Conference President, Dr. Michael McClanahan, is also launching a state inquiry into the allegations as it also affects other schools in the state.

KATC requested an interview and evidence of the claims made, but the NAACP said it is still under investigation.

An LHSAA representative is denying the allegations, telling KATC that all contact tracing protocols have been followed concerning the players in question, and that it has communicated with school principals, superintendents and the Louisiana Department of Health regarding the players.

KATC also reached out to one of the school's coaches who also denied the claims from the NAACP.

KATC asked for a comment from the Lafayette Parish School System, which issued then issued the following statement:

The Lafayette Parish School System is aware of the allegations made by the local chapter of the NAACP
that LPSS football players are playing despite possible exposure of COVID-19 . The allegations have been
investigated by school-level staff, as well as district-level staff. In addition LPSS has been in contact with
LHSAA and the Louisiana Department of Health to confirm that all contact tracing protocols have been
followed.

We regret that such an allegation has been raised. LPSS takes all reports seriously and continues to
follow guidance and protocols such as contact tracing to keep all students and staff safe during this time.

The NAACP has said they were told, and the Louisiana Department of Health has confirmed, that it is not the agency's role to clear any schools or students in this situation.

The LHSAA adds that no athletes have tested positive for coronavirus and that the games scheduled for this weekend will go on.

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