Social event forces Alaska high school to close for 2 days

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A “private social event” held last Saturday has led to a 48-hour shutdown of all sports and activities for an Alaska high school, officials said.

The Anchorage School District said Friday in a letter that students from at least five Eagle River High School sports teams and activities attended the party.

The football team was placed on a 14-day quarantine, meaning the team will be forced to miss its playoff game next week against reigning state champions Soldotna.

Eagle River was supposed to play undefeated East High in its regular-season finale Saturday, but the school was forced to forfeit. The school said it wanted to eliminate the team's exposure to the coronavirus prior to the playoffs.

The two-day shutdown of all activities also means its athletes will not be able to compete in either of the state championship events being held Saturday in Anchorage for cross country and tennis, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

There have been 10,176 confirmed new cases and 60 confirmed new deaths from the coronavirus in the state since the pandemic began, according to the state Department of Health and Social Services.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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