Joshua Lacaillade Hunter oberst
Equinox Staff News Editor
As COVID-19 cases surge across the United States, Keene State College stays committed to providing a safe community for students, faculty and staff amidst this pandemic.
In recent weeks, the school has hosted events and activities across campus during Halloween weekend. Coaches and players continue to have intrasquad scrimmages against each other despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Keene State’s field hockey team has encountered another positive COVID-19 result from a team member. This has resulted in the whole team quarantining. The team has been given the option to quarantine on campus or at home for the next two weeks. The President of Keene State College Melinda Treadwell announced there were three positive COVID-19 cases between the week of October 28 to November 3 this year. The college has reported two of those three cases were asymptomatic, including a member of the field hockey team. The positive test did not come back until the last weekend of October, a few days after the field hockey member was tested.
Melinda Treadwell noted that, “These athletes are practicing together, they are close together and their social groups overlap.”
Some of the girls live in close contact with one another. All of the girls were notified of their fellow teammate testing positive, and were told to quarantine for two weeks at home or off campus. The field hockey will continue to quarantine until Saturday, November 14.
Keene State Director of Athletics and Recreation Phil Racicot says it is best to quarantine all members of the team according to the campus protocol.
“It is an unfortunate development, but we are glad that no one has been ill and that no additional positive tests have been attributed to this,” Racicot said. “It is another sign that our processes have been working well to this point. The quarantine measures are out of an abundance of caution but have served the campus and community effectively.”
Sophomore field hockey player Nina Cipriani feels the school is doing everything they can to combat the coronavirus and keep the team safe.
Director of Strategic Communications and Community Relations Kelly Ricaurte says that one of the three positive cases was a staff member. This is the first staff member at Keene State to test positive for COVID-19 and they were asymptomatic.
“Keene State still has a very low incident rate of COVID-19 – we remain on track to stay together in person until the start of Thanksgiving Break as planned,” Ricaurte said. “Also, we are urging students to stay in Keene to get tested on November 19 and November 20 before heading home, so that students will know their COVID results either before they leave, or once they are home.
The school continues to take steps to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. The school feels prepared for the worst as COVID-19 cases rise across the state and the nation. “We have 133 beds available in Monadnock, because people can share bathrooms. We have 30 private spaces in Owl’s Nest. The highest capacity we’ve reached with beds was 50 percent. We have also identified possible overflow spots if necessary,” says Treadwell.
As the semester starts to come to a close, Melinda Treadwell feels hopeful about the future of fall and spring semester. “I am so incredibly impressed – everyone is trying hard. I am confident and optimistic we will be just fine.”
Josh Lacaillade can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hunter Oberst can be contacted at: email@example.com