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Carlisle shut down athletic department workouts for all sports Thursday after learning that a football player was exposed to the coronavirus.

Carlisle Principal and Athletic Director BJ Greene told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the player was exposed Monday to a person outside the football program. The player was not named because of privacy laws.

The football player was tested Thursday, Greene said, and is scheduled to receive his results within two to four days. He will quarantine for 14 days.

Greene said workouts will be shut down for a maximum of 14 days if the player tests positive. If the player tests negative, athletes may be able to return to workouts sooner on campus.

"We're going to do everything we can out of an abundance of caution for our athletes," Greene said.

Carlisle is the fourth known football program in the state to shut down workouts because of covid-19. Jonesboro had a player test positive in June, while Lake Hamilton and Mountain Pine each had an athlete in an unknown sport test positive.

Greene said Carlisle has gone through the proper protocols, including cleaning equipment after each use. The school district also purchased 3,000 masks for athletes.

"Every school across the state is concerned," Greene said. "You have to wash your hands and wear that mask. Routine things you should be doing every day."

There are 60 players in Carlisle's football program from seventh grade through 12th grade.

Schools across the state were allowed to hold in-person workouts June 1 after Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Health approved guidelines under Phase 1 for community and team sports.

During his news conference Wednesday, Hutchinson warned football fans across the state about covid-19.

Hutchinson, who said Tuesday that he wasn't going to move team sports to Phase 2 yet because of increased cases, held a white football in one hand and cloth mask in the other during his news conference Wednesday to point out why he wants Arkansans to help limit the spread of the virus.

"There's a connection between the two," Hutchinson said. "We wear our masks, we reduce the cases, we reduce the growth, we stop the spread of the virus, and that puts us in a better position to have some type of team sports this fall."

Greene agreed with the governor.

"As an AD and as a principal, we want to see football in person," Greene said. "We want football across the state in August. I thought the governor's comments were on key."

Fall football practices are scheduled to begin Aug. 3, with the first week of games scheduled for Aug. 24-28.

Carlisle finished 9-4 last season. The Bisons advanced to the Class 2A quarterfinals with victories over England and Foreman before losing to Salem.

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