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Beebe canceled its athletic workouts Thursday after learning that one of its athletes tested positive for the coronavirus, the school district announced on its Facebook page.

Beebe Superintendent Chris Nail told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the athlete's family notified administrators after 6:30 a.m. Thursday that the athlete, whose name and sport was not released because of privacy laws, received a positive.

The athlete was on Beebe's campus Wednesday, Nail said.

Beebe Athletic Director Chris Ellis called the Arkansas Department of Health, Nail said, and Beebe's football, basketball and volleyball workouts were called off. Nail said a small group of football players were already working out in the school's indoor facility and were told to leave the campus after learning of the athlete's positive case.

Beebe was disinfecting and deep cleaning its athletic facilities Thursday and will continue to do so today. Nail said workouts are expected to resume Monday.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is scheduled to make an announcement today on the status of high school athletics in the state, specifically contact sports. The Arkansas Activities Association's first day of fall practice for football teams is scheduled for Monday, per the association's calendar.

It is the second time this summer that Beebe's athletic program was shut down because of a positive coronavirus case. Nail said an athlete tested positive for the virus July 3.

Beebe is one of 10 known schools in the state to have shut down varsity workouts in football because of a positive covid-19 case or exposure to the virus.

Clarksville had two football players test positive, while Little Rock Central, Jonesboro and Atkins each had one case from a football player, with Atkins' case coming in its junior high program. Little Rock Catholic has had three athletes test positive for covid-19. Lake Hamilton and Mountain Pine each had an athlete with a positive case.

Carlisle temporarily shut down its program twice after having a football player exposed to the virus, but he later tested negative. Also, Carlisle had a multi-sport athlete (basketball and softball) become exposed to the virus along with her sister, who is in the school's band. The sisters later tested negative.

Osceola shut down its football workouts for a week when several coaches came into contact with a person with the virus. Those coaches later tested negative.

Catholic, Lake Hamilton and Mountain Pine did not announce the sport of the affected athletes, citing privacy laws.

Nail said Beebe will move forward in hopes that the school's athletes and coaches are safe.

"Safety is the most important thing for our kids and our staff," Nail said. "I don't want anybody to get sick. I know how important activities and sports are to our kids."

Also on Thursday, Russellville announced that several high school cheerleaders tested positive for covid-19. Cheerleading practices have been canceled until further notice, but the district added that the athletic department will remain open for sports not involved.


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