8 COVID-19 cases connected to Newberg baseball team


The team recently played in a tournament in Roseburg

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At least 8 people from a Newberg baseball team tested positive for COVID-19 after playing in a tournament in Roseburg.

Newberg Superintendent Joe Morelock confirmed Monday that, so far, 8 connected to the Newberg American Legion baseball team tested positive for the virus. Of those cases, only one person was reported to have symptoms. Players on the team attend Newberg High School as well as other area high schools.

The team recently played baseball at a tournament in Roseburg with several other teams. While there, coaches were told another team had two cases of the virus. Morelock said the Newberg team had no contact with that team and made the decision to leave the tournament early.

On Friday, July 3, school officials were notified a student-athlete was taken to the hospital with a high temperature and tested positive for COVID-19. Over the weekend, students and adults were tested and as of 3 p.m. Monday the case count was up to 8, the superintendent said.

While Morelock identified the players as part of an American Legion team, a spokesperson with Oregon American Legion Baseball said the organization canceled 2020 tournaments nationwide in early May. Any team that continues to play in the 2020 season is not playing as a team registered with the American Legion National Organization.

“There is no American Legion team operating in Oregon this year. The whole summer season was canceled,” said Art Cummins with Oregon Legion Baseball. Cummins is on the baseball state commission and manages an American Legion baseball team in the Salem area.

While the official season was canceled for safety and liability reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic, different teams are still playing.

“There are kids playing, and I understand some of the programs that would normally be Legion programs have put kids on independent teams with no American Legion affiliation,” said Cummins. He said he’s worried for the safety of the athletes on the field.

“We wish we were playing, but you can’t risk the health of these kids,” said Cummins.

The coaches and athletes in Newberg are working with the Oregon Health Authority and taking the proper social distancing and contact tracing measures.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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