Murray County football coach tests positive for COVID-19, workouts on hold

Daniel Mayes/Daily Citizen-News

Murray County High School football players have their temperature checked prior to a workout last month. Murray County's workouts are now on hold after head coach Chad Brewer tested positive for COVID-19.

Murray County High School football workouts will be on hold until Tuesday, July 21, after head coach Chad Brewer tested positive for the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

Brewer tested positive on Saturday, according to Murray County athletics director Greg Linder. Any players who came into close contact with Brewer are being encouraged to self-quarantine for 10 days, per U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation, and get tested if they have any symptoms of COVID-19.

Linder said players were told to notify a coach if they began exhibiting symptoms of the virus or were tested. As of Tuesday, Linder said, no players or staff other than Brewer had reported a positive test. Linder said Brewer would be tested again before returning to practice.

Brewer said Tuesday that he is doing well, despite the diagnosis.

“It’s a great year to have an experienced team coming back,” Brewer wrote in a text message. “We had a great June, and last week we had five great days of work. We will be in touch with our players this week and be ready to start next Tuesday and pick up right where we left off.”

Murray County was in the midst of football workouts in preparation for the 2020 season. The Indians are currently scheduled to open the season Aug. 21 at home against Southeast Whitfield High School.

Lincoln Puryear, a senior on the Murray County football team, said he doesn’t think the week away from workouts will set the team back.

“I’m working out and working landscaping during the day, so I’m staying in shape for the season,” Puryear said.

Puryear said he’s not worried that he could have been exposed to COVID-19.

“We’ve been distancing and sanitizing a lot, but I feel like they’ll probably step it up another notch now,” Puryear said.

Regulations set by the Georgia High School Athletic Association require teams to sanitize weight rooms during and between workouts. Players must also maintain social distancing, and groups are limited to 50.

“We have gone ahead and disinfected the entire facility again,” Linder said. “We did a deep clean on everything he has been a part of. We did all the steps we needed to do to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Linder said football is the only sport at the school that would cease workouts.

“We’re in a good situation where we’ve really divided all of our sports that have come back into separate locations,” Linder said. “Football was really isolated at the field and weight room. We’re still monitoring and taking all the necessary steps with all the other sports as well.

“I hope coach Brewer starts feeling better and gets back to his normal ways so we can have a season,” Puryear said.

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