Kearns High back in football playoffs thanks to additional coronavirus testing

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kearns players rush onto the field as Kearns hosts Lone Peak, high school football, Thursday September 14, 2017. On Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, the Kearns football team learned it was back in the playoffs a day after the school said it was ending its season due to positive coronavirus tests.

The Kearns High football team will get a chance to compete for a championship after all.

Cougars coach Matt Rickards told The Salt Lake Tribune that all players and coaches will get tested for COVID-19 on Saturday and next Friday morning. Those that test negative for both tests will get to play in next week’s second-round matchup. Kearns has a bye for the first round after finishing 8-1 this season.

The test next Friday will be a rapid test, Rickards said.

Granite School District spokesperson Ben Horsley told The Tribune that the district worked with the Salt Lake County Health Department all day Friday.

“Big props to the Salt Lake County Health department for helping us find a solution to keep kids safe and also allow them to play,” Horsley said.

The news comes just one day after a third Kearns player tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting a suggestion to dismiss the team for 14 days. It was initially thought that the Cougars would need to forfeit their second-round game