NEWTON, NJ -An unfortunate sign of the times, Newton football will suspend practice and games for two weeks following report of a player testing positive for COVID-19.  Newton Superintendent Kennedy Greene announced on Monday afternoon Braves football will resume practice October 12.

Greene could not comment on the health of the student with the positive test.  He said the teams have been following all New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association or NJSIAA protocols regarding reporting, screening, distancing, equipment and disinfection.

The NJSIAA guidelines requires players’ families to submit a symptom screening form each day before practice.  The form asks if players have exhibited any of the eight symptoms associated with COVID-19.  It further askes about exposure to someone diagnosed with coronavirus as well as recent travel.

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A temperature check is also required.

The team will miss games on October 2 against Kittatinny and October 9 against Hackettstown. Greene said the “sub- varsity” JV and Freshmen teams are included in the two week pause.  He said the games will be “postponed or canceled outright if there are no available dates.”

Greene said the players have only been practicing outside and have not been using indoor facilities.

The county health department is doing contact tracing according to Greene.  He said they are “following CDC, state and local health department guidance in order to assure the health and safety of our community.”

In Sussex County,  Newton, Sparta and High Point have all had to suspend their football programs according to Joanne Hoover, Sparta Board of Education member and a member of the athletic department at Lenape Valley Regional High School. 

“We must remain vigilant and continue following widely promoted safeguards such as washing hands frequently, practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings,” Greene said in his letter to the community.

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