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Hays Larks to be tested after player contracts COVID-19

Hays Larks' Press Release

HAYS—Players and coaches for the Hays Larks summer-collegiate baseball team are scheduled to be tested Tuesday for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus which has created a global pandemic, after a player tested positive over the weekend.

Monday’s season opener and Tuesday’s game were canceled after results confirmed a Larks player tested positive for the virus. He had been feeling ill and took the test Saturday, with results coming back Sunday.

Frank Leo, who would have been starting his 38th season as Larks manager with Monday’s nonleague game against the Colorado Springs Outlaws, said the decision on whether to play this summer rests with the results of Tuesday’s tests. Hays’ next scheduled game is 7 p.m. Friday at Larks Park against the Colorado Pirates in their Rocky Mountain Baseball League opener.

“If everyone comes up negative we’ll be able to proceed with the season Friday night,” Leo said, adding that if anybody tests positive “the season is basically done; everybody’s got to be negative.”

Ellis County Health Services Director Jason Kennedy sought guidance from the state on how to proceed, Leo said. If the season is not canceled, players will be checked regularly for signs of illness.

“The team will be closely monitoring temperatures, how the players are feeling, encouraging if you’re not feeling well don’t come to the ballpark,” Leo said. “We will be diligently monitoring players on a daily basis.”

Leo said he would be anxiously awaiting Wednesday’s test results.

“There is no contingency,” he said. “We’ve got to be negative or we’re done.”