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Athletes Quarantined After Amador County Football Player With Positive COVID Test Hits The Field

AMADOR COUNTY (CBS13) - After playing a high school football game on Friday night, one Amador High School player tested positive for COVID-19, possibly exposing dozens of community members to the virus.

Teams in Amador County have to test for COVID-19 before games, and last week was no different. The samples are then sent to a state lab in Southern California, but according to a press release, last week's results were delayed. The lab failed to return the tests in time for Friday night kickoff.

So just hours before their big game, Amador football took rapid tests instead which were all negative, but when the original lab tests returned after Friday's game, it showed one player's negative result was inaccurate.

"It doesn't just affect the students or coaches, it ends up spreading to families and the whole community," said Dr. Dean Blumberg, Pediatric Infectious Diseases specialist at UC Davis Children's Hospital.

The team took rapid antigen tests, which Dr. Blumberg says are only 80% accurate, leading to the player's false negative.

"Screening asymptomatic people -- that's a terrible test. It's just not sensitive enough. The PCR tests are much more appropriate for screening of asymptomatic people," said Dr. Blumberg.

When it comes to youth sports testing is not really the issue, he said.

"Many sports are not following guidelines put out my AAP which are science-based. They don't recommend any of the testing pre-participation. What they do recommend is masking."

Especially for a sport like football.

"They're tackling each other they're right next to each other they should be masking regardless of test results. It can really amplify disease throughout the community -- that's why it's so important for schools to get this right and not open up and return to sports."

Amador high school football will quarantine until April 19.

CBS13 reached out to the Amador County Unified School District as well as the high school coaching staff to ask about testing protocols and plans moving forward. We did not hear back.

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