A Wisconsin youth football coach was fired for exposing colleagues and players to COVID-19 during a scrimmage — when he already had learned he tested positive for the virus, league officials said.
The assistant coach, who was not identified, had been tested for the coronavirus after showing symptoms but still decided to attend Saturday’s scrimmage and practice between fifth- through eighth-graders from Hartford Youth Football and the Kewaskum Gridiron Club, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“Responding to this pandemic is easy,” Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann said in a statement Monday. “Stay home when sick, period. I have not found anyone who agrees with the coach’s decision to attend practice and a scrimmage while waiting for his test results.”
The assistant got a phone call from health officials in Washington County confirming his positive test result during the first portion of Saturday’s scrimmage, the Wisconsin All-American Youth Football League said in a statement.
The head coaches of both teams were then told during a break in the action that a coach at the scrimmage had tested positive, prompting the assistant to admit “that he was the one” who contracted the virus, league officials said.
Kewaskum’s head coach then relieved the man of his coaching duties and told him to leave the field at Kewaskum High School, which he did without incident.
“All of this transpired within a very short timeframe, no more than 15 minutes,” league officials said. “As a precautionary measure, the scrimmage was immediately canceled.”
Kewaskum team officials gave video of the scrimmage to county health officials to identify anyone who came in contact with the assistant, according to the league.
“Late Sunday evening, the Health Department cleared everyone from any further measures of required quarantine and the situation was closed,” league officials said.
Schoemann, meanwhile, has contacted the Washington County sheriff to possibly hold the unnamed assistant accountable for his actions.
“This is absolutely inexcusable, that kind of behavior,” Schoemann told WISN. “Exposing kids, of course their health, but also the possibility of them missing school and more sports, which is what they’re supposed to be there for. So I talked to the sheriff about enforcement procedures and he’s looking into that now.”