Abilene ISD using practice film to help with contact tracing

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Like most school districts, during the pandemic Abilene ISD has had to make major adjustments to their safety protocols both inside and outside of the classroom. In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, AISD is using football and volleyball practice film to help with contract tracing.

“We won’t hesitate to make a decision on behalf of student safety if we have to,” said Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young.

After one player on the Abilene High volleyball team tested positive for COVID-19, the majority of the team went into quarantine. Abilene ISD has tried to learn as much as they can about a possible spread from recordings of practice.

“We go back and watch video of the practice to make sure that’s exactly what happened, and then also do the interviews. That allows us to really minimize the amount of time that our players are in close contact,” said Dr. Young.

On Wednesday afternoon Dr. Young took the time to emphasize the importance of extracurricular activities in school, and what needs to be done to keep them going amid the pandemic.

“While I would like to think they are, can’t wait to get to English, math, science, and social studies, it may be whether it’s athletics, whether it’s fine arts, whether it’s welding, that’s what gets kids engaged,” said Dr. Young.

When asked about the possibility of having to stop extracurricular activities for safety reasons, Dr. Young said he is confident with the protocol in place.

“It is just the most important thing we do, students and staff safety, but I’m hopeful really that with the protections that we have in place we won’t have to just completely shut down extracurriculars,” said Dr. Young.

Dr. Young says fans attending games and other events have a role to play in protecting students as well.

“It’s important that our fans follow the guidelines that are in place. We’ve done a reasonable job of that, like football games on football night, but we could do better,” said Dr. Young.

According to Dr. Young, in order to avoid cancelling games the UIL is allowing the district to reschedule upcoming volleyball games, while members of the team are in quarantine.

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