By Kristina Rex

LEOMINSTER (CBS) – Leominster High School’s varsity football team is facing yet another postponed game. The annual Thanksgiving Day rivalry against Fitchburg, which didn’t happen in November because of the pandemic, will not happen again on Friday, March 26 because a player on the team tested positive for COVID-19.

“Every school across Massachusetts running athletics has had to deal with this situation,” Leominster Athletic Director Dave Palazzi told WBZ, noting that flexibility is key this season. “I think if you ask any administrator or athletic director, it’s been difficult. It’s a challenge to try to reschedule games or just give these kids a chance to chase their passion and get out of the house.”

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Schools all over the state are tackling similar issues — fighting ways to stop the spread while maintaining some level of normal activity.

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In Massachusetts’, nearly half of all active COVID-19 cases are in people under age 30, according to the state’s weekly online report released on Thursday. “While these residents are far less likely to be hospitalized,” Governor Baker said in a press conference Thursday, “It remains critically important for all residents and especially young people to continue to practice prevention strategies and not let down their guard.”

Epidemiologist Dr. Shira Doron from Tufts Medical Center told WBZ the trend isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. “The reason we have a lot of COVID right now among younger people is there’s still a lot of COVID in the community,” she said.

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The shift in case numbers, Dr. Doron said, is a testament to the success of our vaccination program. “It is what we want to see, what we expect to see,” she explained. “As we vaccinate from an older age group on down, we are going to see a greater proportion of the positive cases be in people who are younger.”

Kristina Rex