The Perry High School varsity football team has canceled its next two games after a positive COVID-19 case was discovered in the program.
According to Perry Principal Dan Serrano, one player tested positive for the virus that initially delayed and shortened the 2020 fall sports season. The school, in conjunction with the Chandler Unified School District nurse, investigated possible close contacts to the player and determined 35 others needed to quarantine for 14 days.
Serrano said along with the mass quarantine, injuries and other illnesses not directly related to COVID-19 resulted in more than 50 total players absent from its varsity roster.
“We have several kids who are either injured or sick in addition, so we are down over 50 kids” Serrano said. “We didn’t feel it was safe for our kids to play against another team.”
Perry’s games on Oct. 30 against Casteel and Nov. 6 versus Higley will no longer be played due to the insufficient number of players left to compete. Serrano said the Pumas’ game against Pinnacle on Nov. 13 is still scheduled.
However, that game taking place is dependent on when the other players exit quarantine and if they have an adequate amount of time to prepare after two weeks off.
“The kids have to make sure they’re all cleared to come back,” Serrano said. “I think we have to make sure the kids coming back from quarantine, we have to make sure it’s safe for them to get out there and start playing after two weeks off.”
Perry becomes the latest football program to shut down for two weeks due to a positive case.
Chaparral was forced to cancel its first three games of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season due to two positive cases in the program earlier this month. Desert Ridge canceled its contest against Red Mountain last Friday and against Basha this week due to cases. Horizon canceled its games against Saguaro and Maricopa as a result of positive cases.
Earlier in the season, both Arete Prep and Gilbert Christian canceled a game due to a positive case. Cactus Shadows in Surprise and a slew of other West Valley schools have also canceled games as of late.
According to the Chandler Unified School District’s COVID-19 dashboard – which is updated weekly -- Perry had four confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus. The dashboard does not differentiate between positive cases in students and staff.