Protecting Athletes From Swine Flu

By: Chris Sutter Email
By: Chris Sutter Email

It's the time of the week when high school football fanatics start to think about the Friday night match up they'll go to watch.

But that game could be in jeopardy, leaving stands and the field empty.

"These are unprecedented times, I can't think of a time in my 24 years at the MHSAA, where we've had a sickness outbreak this extensive," Director, Jack Roberts explains.

Athletes from every school are at risk of becoming a part of the growing number infected by swine flu, because keeping your distance from someone isn't an option when your job is to tackle them.

"We don't want to have any flu exacerbated," Nancy Hipskind Superintendent of Charlotte Schools explains.

So how are local teams and schools preventing it? Hipskind says she's just preaching personal hygiene.

"We remind players after the contest to get into the showers," she says.

There are no new guidelines being handed down from the MHSAA, but it's not that they haven't considered it. Roberts says establishing something like a no hand shaking policy after athletes have already spent four quarters up close and personal with each other, would make no since.

Enter-- yet another problem.

"We won't slow down much for those who feel they need to delay or can't play in a certain round. There may be some forfeits or buys as a result,"

But when playoff games are right around the corner, it's close to impossible to keep students out of the locker room.

"I mean, you have to count on parents to help you with that and coaches," Hipskind says.

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