SM East administration says number of positive COVID-19 cases among athletes is nearing 20

Shawnee Mission East High School experienced an outbreak earlier this summer among student-athletes that ultimately topped a dozen.

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Shawnee Mission East Athletics Director Debbie Katzfey informed staff at the school Monday that three more students had tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday afternoon, bringing the total among student-athletes to nearly 20.

The school suspended summer conditioning programs for football, track, tennis, volleyball and soccer late last month after two student-athletes tested positive for the coronavirus. Since then, more and more families have alerted the district that their students have come back positive.

“Please continue to communicate often with your families and make sure they let me know or you let me know when a positive case pops up,” Katzfey wrote to building administrators. “It is super important we get names and cases to district and thus to the county so we can trace and notify families ASAP.  Thanks in advance for all you are doing to help us get through this time.”

Katzfey informed members of the SM East community on July 1 that the number of positive cases among student athletes had risen to 12 from the initial two.

SM East has been the hardest hit by the cluster of infections, but it isn’t the only school with an athlete to test positive. Shawnee Mission Chief Communications Officer David Smith said Tuesday that SM South’s football program has reported one student-athlete who has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the cancellation of conditioning until next week.

Smith said SM East is planning to resume summer conditioning next week, with different sports starting on different days.