Coronavirus

Auburn High School COVID Outbreak Impacts Classes, Nixes Football Games

The majority of the coaching staff and some football players at Auburn High School tested positive for COVID-19, as did at least 10 school staff members, Superintendent Casey Handfield says

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A high school in Auburn, Massachusetts, is grappling with a COVID-19 outbreak that is impacting classes and athletic activities.

Football activities have been suspended until further notice at Auburn High School after Superintendent Casey Handfield says the majority of the coaching staff and some players have tested positive for coronavirus within the past few days.

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"Two days ago, right before 1 o'clock, both of my kids texted me and said I need a copy of my COVID card, because evidently, that was the day that all heck broke loose," said Linda Hammond, a parent of two football players on Auburn's freshman team.

She says her sons Josh and Devin are vaccinated, so they got to stay in class, but some of their teammates had to go home to quarantine.

"It is frustrating, but more so for the kids, because they want to play and they want to go to school," Hammond said.

In addition to those cases, the school says at least 10 staff members are out due to COVID-19. And with substitute teachers in short supply, the superintendent says the impact is being felt in the classroom.

"Classes are being covered by teachers who would otherwise have preparatory periods, building substitutes that are available to us, [and] Central Office personnel (including myself) are in the building to assist with all aspects of operations," Handfield said.

"They have to do it for the kids to be in school. I mean, I don't want to homeschool again," said Auburn parent Jen DiDonato.

"This is a very unfortunate and frustrating situation for our entire school community," Handfield said in an email to NBC10 Boston. "We will be debriefing what happened in the coming days to see what (if anything) could have been / can be prevented moving forward."

"I think they're doing the best they can," said Nicole Faia, a parent of students in both Auburn High School and Auburn Middle School. "I know that the superintendent has constant communication with the families."

According to the schedule, next Friday night's varsity football game has already been canceled.

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