KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The North Kansas City School District said nine athletes who attend North Kansas City High School have tested positive for COVID-19.
The district said it used contact tracing to determine the student-athletes who tested positive for the virus were not exposed at the school or during a district-sponsored event or practice. However, they did participate in activities last week. The district said some teammates may have been exposed during that time.
Because of the exposure, the district is temporarily suspending football, girls basketball, and cheer camps and practices at North Kansas City High School.
The district said families of students who may have been exposed to COVID-19 were contacted directly. The district also sent letters to families of students who were not involved to be transparent about the situation.
The district reminded families that symptoms of COVID-19 resemble the flu. If you or a family member is sick, COVID-19 testing is free and readily available at clinics, doctor’s offices and hospitals.
The district said this only impacts student-athletes at North Kansas City High School and not other schools.
Health officials in Clay County say this is just another reminder that COVID-19 is still present.
“Anytime we have an outbreak, it solidifies that we still have COVID-19 circulating in the community,” said Ashley Wegner, Clay County Health Department’s health planning and policy chief.
She said it’s concerning that, so far, teens are the least likely to be vaccinated. Data shows only 26% of Clay County teens are at least partially vaccinated.
“Because our middle school and high school populations have had less time to get vaccinated, the vaccine has been on the market the least amount of time for that age group. They’re the least likely to be vaccinated,” Wegner said.
Here’s a statement from a spokesperson for North Kansas City Schools:
“The safety of our students is a top priority, and this indicates our safety protocols are in place and working. These cases have been traced back to an event not related to any school activity. We will continue to monitor the situation and follow our protocols.
“As we continue to provide safety resources for our students, NKC Schools will be offering vaccination clinics this summer for our students. We are partnering with Children’s Mercy to host clinics for students 12-15 years old. We hope those families who are interested in the vaccine take advantage of this opportunity.”