App State Football Suspends Practice After COVID-19 Cluster
Appalachian State University has suspended football practice after health officials identified a cluster of COVID-19 cases associated with the team.
The cluster of active cases includes seven players and four coaches. Health officials have told them to recover in isolation, and contact tracing has begun to determine who they’ve been in close touch with.
The Watauga Democrat reports that as a result of the outbreak, Athletic Director Doug Gillin has suspended practice indefinitely.
Players returned to scaled-down practice in small groups in June. Some conferences have shut down their season, but the Sun Belt Conference, which includes the Mountaineers, is still planning to play.
Appalachian State is scheduled to start its season in Boone next month against Charlotte.
North Carolina Health officials define a cluster as five or more people developing COVID-19 or testing positive for the coronavirus during a two-week period and who are linked to each other in some way.
*Editor's note: An earlier version of this story listed Doug Gillin as the coach of the Appalachian State football team. This story has been updated to reflect the fact that he is the athletic director.