KINGSLEY — Kingsley football appeared on the state’s School-Related Outbreak Reporting list Monday.
The outbreak, which forced the state-ranked Stags to forfeit their Nov. 13 football playoff game to Reed City, is one of 53 new outbreaks reported by local health departments this week to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The outbreak is the only one listed in Grand Traverse County this week, and notably also the only one the state — new or ongoing — tied to a specific team. All other reportings only identified the school.
The report lists six cases in the outbreak, a mixture of students and staff.
Kingsley superintendent Keith Smith said he’s only received one official confirmation of a case by the health department, but that he knows of others.
“I greatly appreciate the efforts of the health department,” Smith said. “I know they are overrun. ... I wouldn’t want to be them right now.”
School officials confirmed a football coach tested positive for COVID-19 the day before the game.
The school board held an emergency meeting that evening, voting to move forward with the Division 5 playoff game between the undefeated and No. 3-ranked Stags and fellow undefeated and No. 5-ranked Reed City.
When another coach became ill and a player tested positive the morning on the contest, school administrators forfeited the game.
“At that point, we knew we had to cancel the game,” Smith said. “Kingsley did the right thing. People’s health comes first.”