High School athletes test positive for COVID-19 after training in Myrtle Beach; fall sports season uncertain

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A group of high school athletes tested positive for COVID-19 after gathering in Myrtle Beach for training, according to the state commissioner.

The S.C. High School League executive committee met on Thursday to discuss guidelines for returning to play. “Something has to change, or our discussions about playing sports become moot,” said Commissioner Jerome Singleton in a press conference aftward.

Singleton said originally it was thought the virus was affecting those 60 years or older. Now, the indication is the people who are most affected are ages 15 to 25, he said. “And those are our students.”

“If changes don’t come into place, it will be very hard to put any of our fall sports seasons together,” he added.

Singleton said some South Carolina schools recently had athletes test positive for COVID-19. “We have had a few schools that had student-athletes who contracted the virus, but we don’t know where that came from, whether it came from working out at school or away from the school.”

He said about 20 of the student-athletes who traveled to Myrtle Beach for phase one of training tested positive for COVID-19 when they left. They were from three different schools, and were all hanging out with each other, Singleton said. 

“They are like a family, it’s like seeing family again,” Singleton said. 

The SCHSL guidelines for returning consist of three phases, with phase one in place until further notice. Singleton said the next step would be the sharing of equipment, such as balls. Right now the athletes do not share equipment. 

The committee met on Thursday to find ways to tighten restrictions and enforce the guidelines.

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