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Johnson County health officials say sports and extracurricular activities are helping spread the virus in schools

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 10:19 PM CST
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JOHNSON CO., Iowa (KCRG) - With many of the Johnson County Schools moving to virtual learning, healthcare leaders wanted to reach out to parents in the community.

On Thursday, six Johnson County Department of Public Health COVID 19 experts worked through a number of questions from parents about the virus and why it was important to move to online learning.

They said the department hasn’t come out and said all schools in Johnson County should move to online learning in a blanket statement because they said all school s are different. When it comes to contacting families or people in a home how have tested positive for COVID 19, they said contact tracers were at capacity, and they were looking to speak to one person in the household. That person was expected to inform others on how to properly quarantine. They said high school sports and extracurricular actives were much of the reason why COVID 19 was spreading quickly through the schools.

“You have closer contact in sports,” said Jake Riley with the Department of Public Health. “You’re playing longer periods of time, and all of the exertion, the running around, it’s more respiratory droplets. You’re spraying more of the virus into the air than you are sitting in your classroom doing a math problem.”

Riley said players should be wearing a mask while participating in these after school activities, practicing, and, even playing. They said schools can implement stricter mandates to force players to wear masks.

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