ROBERT MAGOBET

After several more people have tested positive for COVID-19 around the state of Kansas, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is encouraging everyone to exercise the necessary precautions to remain healthy – and area coaches are listening.

The KDHE and local public health officials are investigating four clusters associated with sports practices and tournaments in Hays and Wichita.

“Sports settings by their very nature may pose a higher risk for spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said. “Participants and spectators at these events are advised to exercise extra caution and practice social distancing, appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and wear cloth facemasks.”

Independent summer baseball has been going on for the last month around the state of Kansas. Chanute baseball coach Jeremy Wheeler has advice for folks attending games.

“Hand sanitizer is back on the shelf in a lot of places. I carry it in the dugout and we have quite a bit of it, so we practice (using) it in the dugout,” Wheeler said. “The same goes for the stands – practice washing your hands. No hand to mouth touches and use hand sanitizer. Ultimately I don’t want anyone to get sick, but hopefully everyone does the proper things so we can continue to come out and play.”

St. Paul baseball head coach Broc Mattox said it is pertinent for folks to follow guidelines.

“You should practice social distancing and a mask doesn’t hurt anything. I know they’re annoying, but I think you would rather be safe than sorry, especially with older people watching us,” Mattox said. “I have a brand new baby at home, so I’m trying to be extra cautious. But I think it’s a serious situation. I’m glad we are playing ball because the kids do need some kind of structure. That’s something to look forward to. It develops so many skills like leadership, team work, so I think we need to play ball, but we need to be very careful in how we do it in these times.”

According to the CDC, as of June 29 there are a total of 2,545,250 cases and 126,369 deaths around the nation. In the state of Kansas, there are 13,538 confirmed cases and 264 deaths.

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