Health department confirms 19 cases of staph infections at Chesterfield school

19 cases of staph infection confirmed at Thomas Dale

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Friday night, football players at Thomas Dale High in Chesterfield returned to the field, just days after the Principal confirmed some of them were treated for a staph infection.

The health department confirmed 19 cases at the school. Friday, many were relieved to learn no new cases have surfaced.

Tony Minter’s son plays for the football team. He says the staph infections started showing up about a month ago. He credits school staff for acting quickly when they learned about it.

Friday evening, it was Thomas Dale vs. Petersburg High in Chesterfield and fans were excited to be there.

“We’re cheering on the Thomas Dale Knights!” Theresa Barlow said.

"Very excited,” Minter added.

He doesn't miss these games if he can help it.

"They work hard, the whole team,” he said.

This week, health officials confirmed 19 cases of staph infection at Thomas Dale. The school's Principal says the infections were confined to the football team.

Minter says when word got out, coaches took appropriate precautions to make sure players were healthy.

"So we wouldn't be down any men for the games,” he said.

The Principal says in a week, there have been no new cases -- a sign things may be back to normal. He also says the school conducted a deep cleaning of the athletic field house and football equipment.

"They've cleaned up so hopefully everything's great with that,” Theresa Barlow said.

It’s welcomed news for her. She comes to hear her niece play in the band. Everyone here wants the best for the players so they can keep cheering on the Knights.

The health department shared some tips for proper cleaning and personal hygiene to avoid this from re-occurring.

“We are appreciative of those who worked to deep clean our athletic field house and the football equipment after the issue was identified,” Principal Chris Jones wrote in a letter to parents this week. “We continue to work with our students regarding proper cleaning of clothes and personal hygiene after practices and games.”

On Friday, the Virginia Department of Health said there were 19 cases at the school.

Jones stressed that the staph infection was not related to the recent Legionella concerns in Chesterfield County.

“The cooling tower on our property has been cleaned and tested, with results coming back showing that we do not have Legionella,” he wrote.

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