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Gowanda denies report of football player participating with COVID-19

Gowanda Central School is responding to a recent Erie County press conference that mentioned a member of their football team participating in a game against Alden with COVID-19 symptoms. The district, in a news release Thursday morning, said this simply was not the case.

Gowanda’s team battled on Alden on April 12. Two days later, on April 14, a varsity football player reported to his family that he had lost his sense of taste. His parents immediately took the player to be tested and, early that night, reported the positive results to the school.

“At the time of the report, the team was practicing,” the district said. “The practice was cut short and players were sent home and told to stay home from school on Thursday, April 15, to await contact tracing. On Wednesday, April 14, after practice, multiple players voluntarily received COVID tests. Two of these players tested positive on April 14, and remain asymptomatic. The football team has remained in quarantine since Wednesday, April 14, with no additional cases reported.”

Further, the district says the family of the student who first tested positive has confirmed that player did not participate in the Alden game Monday while symptomatic. The player’s family also did not communicate to anyone — including the New York state Department of Health — that he was symptomatic during the game. The player’s parents reported to the Health Department that his symptoms began after the game.

“Gowanda CSD wishes to clarify an unfortunate and serious situation,” the news release stated. “The health and safety of our students is the No. 1 priority of Gowanda CSD. The district does not want to leave the public with the impression that it knowingly played COVID-19 positive or COVID-19 symptomatic athletes in a contest. To do so would jeopardize our players and students from other schools and potentially individuals beyond our campus. Gowanda CSD would never knowingly allow that to happen. Please be assured Gowanda CSD followed all protocols and procedures in cooperation with Alden CSD.”

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