MERIDEN — A Maloney High School student has tested positive for COVID-19 and two infections within a youth football league in the city have sidelined some players, according to city officials.
“It is important that you know that the (Maloney) student is in Cohort 2, and did not report to school when symptoms developed,” Maloney Principal Jennifer Straub wrote to parents via the Parent Square communication system on Friday. “This is critical as we have asked families to self-check and monitor for wellness every morning. We are working directly with the Meriden Health Department to identify individuals who were in close contact and they will be notified by Meriden Health Department staff.”
An updated message sent to parents Saturday morning stated the local health department had contacted all individuals involved in the Maloney situation.
News about the Maloney case followed a notice from Meriden Public Schools Thursday that a Lincoln Middle School student had tested positive for COVID-19 after attending classes pending the test results. In that instance, the student was removed from the classroom and all students in the learning cohort were instructed to quarantine for two weeks. The students may return to class on Sept. 23.
According to a Washington Middle School parent, her child played football on the Meriden Raiders football team with the infected Lincoln School student. About 14 other Washington Middle School students were notified to quarantine for 14 days, health officials said.
It was the second confirmed case of COVID-19 within the Meriden Raiders organization since Sept. 1.
“I was confused because I got my son tested on Sept. 1,” said parent Sheena Young-Jones said. “They told me this was a new case. I wasn’t really thinking about sending him back. My nerves can’t take it.”
Meriden Public Health Director Lea Crown confirmed the two cases involving the Meriden Raiders in an email to the Record-Journal Monday.
Raiders officials could not be reached for comment.
Public health officials have instructed 100 individuals to quarantine as a result of cases involving students in local schools thus far, Crown said.
“We got the result (Friday) and began contact tracing immediately,” Crown said. “This started a 10-hour shift on Friday night through Saturday. We have the surveillance system constantly checking for cases. We check all of them within 24 hours. The local publilc health department is on top of it. We don’t wait for the next day.”
The Raiders continue to practice at Washington Park, but Crown has been in touch multiple times with the Raiders officials about the need to train coaches and assistant coaches on reopening rules. The league —football and cheerleading — is a non-CIAC santioned activity, but should the state order the practices stopped, the city will comply, Crown said.
“Football is a high-risk sport,” Crown said. “One person can affect multiple people.”
The city received a complaint about the Meriden Raiders practicing at Washington Park in July and several parents called the health office with concerns about safety at the youth league.
A city inspector investigated the complaints and found some compliance, but provided copies of “Reopen CT Guidance for Youth Sports” to all teams, Crown said.
Mayor Kevin Scarpati has received several complaints from parents about Raiders coaches not wearing masks and not enforcing social distancing, he said Monday. City officials set up a meeting to discuss league practices when the second case was announced last week. Crown, who observed Raiders teams playing over the weekend, will meet with Scarpati, City Manager Tim Coon and other city officials to discuss the issue at 3 p.m. today, Scarpati said.