A men’s basketball staff member tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the squad to pause all team activities indefinitely, according to a release Friday.
The positive test from a “Tier 1” staffer in the team’s traveling party prompted the Colonials (3-7, 2-1 A-10) to postpone their matchup with St. Bonaventure Saturday. No determinations have been made for future games, according to the release.
“In accordance with guidelines, policy and protocols, all Tier 1 personnel are now undergoing additional testing and contact tracing,” the release states. “Until the additional testing and contact tracing is completed, all program activity will be paused.”
CBS Sports basketball insider Jon Rothstein tweeted that the team resumed practice Saturday night and ended its quarantine, “per a school spokesman.” A school spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment and the squad has not released a statement announcing it will resume play.
Athletic department spokesperson Brian Sereno declined to comment on when the staff member tested positive and when the team was notified of the positive case, citing “medical privacy laws.”
He also declined to say how many additional tests personnel will take and how many members of the program were in contact with the individual who tested positive for the aforementioned reason.
According to the NCAA’s updated resocialization plan, Tier 1 personnel constitute the “highest exposure tier” and include student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff and officials. Sereno said GW’s traveling party varies by game but does not exceed 23 people.
Tier 1 personnel are currently tested for the virus three times per week on nonconsecutive days, and tests are processed in-house by a GW lab.
Those who have tested positive will undergo a 10-day quarantine and will be allowed to return to the team if they do not test positive and do not exhibit symptoms during daily monitoring, according to the NCAA’s updated COVID-19 resocialization plan.
The postponement marks the second straight game to be played at a later date after the contest against Massachusetts Wednesday was put off following a District-wide curfew as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The Colonials aren’t the first program to be sidelined this season by a positive COVID-19 test. Nine other programs – St. Bonaventure, Fordham, Duquesne, VCU, Saint Louis, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s, Richmond and George Mason – have all reported positive tests among Tier 1 personnel. La Salle, Dayton, Davidson and Rhode Island have yet to report a positive COVID-19 test in its programs.
Sereno said games will resume when “it is deemed safe by A-10, D.C. and GW policy.” The Colonials are currently slated to be back on the court Wednesday to take on VCU at 2 p.m.
This article appeared in the January 11, 2021 issue of the Hatchet.