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Father Files Lawsuit Over KHSAA's COVID-19 Policy

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The father of a high school baseball player has filed a lawsuit against the Kentucky High School Athletic Association over its COVID-19 return-to-play policy.

The KHSAA mandates that student-athletes who test positive must be removed from competition for 21 days, but Jon Kelly Johnson of Mount Sterling argues that such a long waiting period potentially does more harm than good.

As reported by ABC affiliate WHAS in Louisville, the lawsuit argues that after the cancellation of the past season, the KHSAA policy could further negatively impact the scholarship hopes of his 16-year-old son, Davis, a member of the Montgomery County High School baseball team. 

“You take basically one out of four seasons as a high school player or potentially two out of four, you've dramatically impacted the student athlete, especially the student athletes, not just the ones who want to participate and enjoy participating, but the ones who have the talent that they could go on to college and play,” attorney Trip Redford told WHAS.

According to the KHSAA website, the association's protocol hasn't changed since it was implemented last fall, but continued questions prompted a policy refresher to be posted Jan. 26. The KHSAA says 21 days is the maximum an individual would need to be sidelined if both required and recommended parts of the protocol are activated.

Student-athletes competing for KHSAA member schools who test positive for the virus are required to fully meet CDC requirements for isolation (currently 10-days after the day of the positive test or symptom onset), before going through a six-day gradual return to play protocol. The KHSAA further recommends an interim period to ensure appropriate time for evaluation by a physician. "This evaluation could focus on cardiology or any other aspect in conjunction with the primary care physician," the website states.

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