UPDATED: Player in large St. George softball tournament tests positive for COVID-19, prompting partial cancellation

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ST. GEORGE — A participant at the USA Preps Summer Nationals softball tournament in St. George this weekend has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting cancellation of part of the competition. The tournament was advertised to bring 144 teams and more than 2,000 out-of-state players, coaches and parents to St. George, as well as 50 college coaches.

Updated July 18, 9:15 a.m.: Comments from USA Preps on the positive COVID-19 test

The positive test result was reported to St. George News by a city employee and parents involved in the tournament.

The tournament was scheduled to run through Sunday, but with the positive test results for one of the players, games for the 18U division at the Archie Gubler Complex were canceled. However, all other games in the 18U division and for the 14U and 16U divisions are still planned to be played this weekend.

The parent of a softball player involved in the tournament said that they were notified of the cancellation on Friday. They were also told that the player who tested positive for COVID-19 was waiting on the test results before traveling to the tournament. A statement from USA Preps on Saturday confirmed that the player had received a COVID-19 test before the tournament but did not wait on the results to travel to St. George.

“It was brought to our attention yesterday that a parent made a very irresponsible decision to bring their child to our event while awaiting the results of a COVID test,” a written statement from USA Preps said. “Upon hearing this news, we immediately made the decision to shut down the Archie Gubler Complex for the remainder of the weekend. While the player in question only played in 4 games, we felt it was in the best interest of everyone involved to immediately remove the 24 teams along with any umpires, college coaches, and staff that were at that complex. Our schedule ensures that teams remain at the same complex all week and anyone at the Archie Gubler Complex did not have any interaction with the other teams at this event.”

“Now we’re stuck in Utah, we can’t get our money back for the hotels and a lot of out-of-state parents are really upset, I can tell you that,” the parent said.

Before the tournament, USA Preps listed guidelines intended to help facilitate social distancing.

The parent said their team was following the necessary guidelines, but they explained that the parents of every athlete involved, regardless of division, were near each other at the softball complex at one point in the day. Despite this, the tournament will still be played for the other divisions this weekend.

The family was supposed to be in St. George through Sunday, but now they are unable to get a refund for their hotel and they said USA Preps has already been paid by all of the teams for the tournament.

This is a developing story.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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