A Keene State College student-athlete has tested positive for COVID-19, placing 12 individuals in quarantine.
Melinda Treadwell, president of Keene State College, explained that administration took immediate action the moment the test result came in.
“We got the result Monday morning at 7 a.m.,” said Treadwell. “All individuals were contacted before 9 [a.m.]. The positive case was contacted within 25 minutes. Our COVID results usually come within 2-5 days. I think that the positive case was taken on Friday.”
Treadwell explained that the positive case was asymptomatic and since the time of the positive result coming in, no second-hand positives have emerged.
Phil Racicot, Keene State’s Director of Athletics and Recreation, explained that this one positive case does not mean the end of the team’s season.
“Really what [the positive case] does for this particular team is it freezes them in place,” said Racicot. “We were slated to move into the next phase next week which would be, essentially, more of a full-team practice… but with this one team they’ll have to yield and then wait until the two week quarantine period is over, which started this week… and then once we get through that part, that program will then… pick up where they left off.”
Racicot explains that the athletic department and the school is closely monitoring the situation and will not allow the team to move forward in phases or participate in intrasquad scrimmages until it is completely safe to do so.
Treadwell discussed that while this is the largest number of individuals who have needed to be quarantined due to a singular positive case, the numbers are still very low.
“We normally have a very small number of quarantined individuals,” said Treadwell. “Because athletes are coming back to play, there’s more close contact and also teams congregate outside of practice. I’m really proud of the coaches and athletes because we haven’t seen any clusters emerge, a cluster is more than three cases. The average number of quarantined is fewer than five. It’s disappointing that people have to be quarantined but it’s good that it’s so low.”
Currently there are 18 individuals in isolation, none of which have developed into a positive case. Treadwell said 12 of those individuals are tied to the student-athlete.
Aside from the one positive case, Racicot said that practices have been going great for the Owls and he is proud of how the student-athletes and staff have been handling the challenging season.
“Late in the afternoon, you know 5 or 6 o’clock when I know the teams are out practicing, I go for a run so I can catch practice and you know, it’s neat,” said Racicot. “Everyone’s doing what they’re supposed to do, even in this situation with the program that is in quarantine right now, because the staff members did everything in such a right way that actually reduced the number of people who had to be quarantined. It’s definitely strange going out to the soccer field and seeing coaches stand six-feet away, wearing masks and having people in very distinct groups, but you know what, it certainly beats the alternative.”
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