Gateway shuts down high school, cancels football game after students infected with coronavirus

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Friday, September 25, 2020 | 12:07 PM


Two students at Gateway High School have tested positive for covid-19, shutting the school down for five days and canceling a highly anticipated football game, according to a news release posted to the district’s website Friday.

One student who tested positive has not been to the building since Sept. 22, the announcement reads, which was written by Dennis Chakey, the district’s assistant superintendent and pandemic coordinator.

It was not immediately clear when the second student was diagnosed and when that student was most recently in the building. The announcement indicated that student had been diagnosed within the past 14 days.

Friday’s announcement is the second this week that includes people from the district coming down with covid-19. On Wednesday, Chakey addressed a letter to district families that said a staff member from Mosside Middle School had been diagnosed with the virus.

The district welcomed students back to its seven buildings Sept. 8.

Its reopening plan includes a hybrid learning model, where students attend school twice a week for in-person instruction. The other three days they learn remotely.

Some students opted to return to school for in-person instruction, while others opted for completely remote instruction.

Concerns over covid-19 exposure led officials to cancel tonight’s football game between the second-ranked Gators and top-ranked Pine-Richland. An anonymous source said one of the students who tested positive is a student-athlete.

The game is one of the season’s most highly anticipated matchups. Because it’s a nonconference game, the contest won’t be rescheduled.

The teams were scheduled to play at 7 p.m. at Pine-Richland.

Combined, Gateway and Pine-Richland won four WPIAL titles in the past three seasons.

Pine-Richland celebrated Class 6A titles in 2018 and ‘17. The Rams, this season, dropped to Class 5A, where Gateway is the reigning champion. The Gators also won the WPIAL 5A title in 2017.

Theirs was the second WPIAL football game called off in Week 3 because of covid-19. Baldwin previously postponed its scheduled matchup with Canon-McMillan.

Gateway also postponed soccer games scheduled for Saturday. The boys team was scheduled to host McKeesport in a nonsection game, and the girls were to play a Section 1-3A game at Franklin Regional.

District officials were not immediately available to comment.

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