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The New Castle Area School District has canceled its homecoming football game for tonight after a football player tested positive for coronavirus, the district's superintendent said.

New Castle, 0-4, was to host Beaver for a 7 p.m. kickoff from Taggart Stadium. 

Superintendent Debbie DeBlasio emphasized that the homecoming activities, nevertheless, will continue as scheduled, because none of the students on the court has been exposed to the football players, and exposure has been limited because school is not in live session.

Homecoming activities will entail a parade around the outside of the stadium, beginning at 5:45 p.m. on Cunningham Avenue and proceeding around the entire block, then entering the stadium. The procession then will go around the track once.

The homecoming court ceremony will be 6:35 p.m. in the stadium, when the king and queen will be crowned on the field.

DeBlasio said that under the COVID-19 requirements, the governor opened up the seating capacity to 15 percent occupancy. She said that about 320 tickets had been distributed for tonight's event, out of a capacity of 7,200.

The football player who tested positive is the first student in the New Castle district to have contracted the virus, as far as the administration knows, she said. She and other administrators have been in contact with the state Department of Health about the matter, and the department and district nurses have been conducting contact tracing through the students' families.

Because the district classes are not in session live, the exposure to other students has been limited, she said. DeBlasio noted, however, that all of the football players could have been exposed, and the district is awaiting information from the state Department of Health about whether or not those players and coaches should be quarantined.


Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

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