St. Louis County Health Department says a lot needs to be done before student-athletes can return to the field


ST. LOUIS COUNTY – St. Louis County Health Department Co-Director Spring Schmidt told FOX 2’s Vic Faust a lot needs to be done for it to be safe to allow high schools currently sidelined by county COVID-19 guidelines to take the field again.

“We wanted there to be a chance for a season. It may be we see community conditions improve. We see a lot, a lot of mask compliance with the teens. Increase in testing, increase social control. Those things come together and conditions improving,” Schmidt said.

But Schmidt said she doesn’t know if it’s possible to achieve these goals in time for a fall season.

She also says the message that there hasn’t been one student-athlete to student-athlete transmission case is absolutely false.

“We have definitely seen a cluster of transmissions in sports-related activity. Whether its practice or traveling to a game and there is more than one kid involved,” Schmidt said.

And Schmidt doesn’t think it was a good idea for Incarnate Word Academy to go play sports in another county. She said, the risk for the community is not worth the reward.

“I’m not going to punish kids or schools. But I want a lot more parents to take a minute and think about what they’re risking for kids,” Schmidt said.

She acknowledges that 95 percent of all the hospitalizations in the St. Louis Metropolitan area have been over the age of 50, but also says kids are being hospitalized and some have lost their lives. She also says whatever school superintendents decide with bringing kids back, she is for.

“These are tough decisions. We are talking school and sports and kids. We want this for them with our parents and educators. We want it to be right. But how do we adapt to that,” Schmidt said.

She says people need to know they care about the 300,000 students in St. Louis County.

Schmidt says she speaks with school district superintendents and County Executive Sam Page on a daily basis. While she understands people’s frustration and their protesting she says she hopes people can understand that they do care about the over 300,000 students in St. Louis County.

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