MANCHESTER — Two Burr and Burton athletes have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email sent by the school on Monday to families.
The day after the BBA team’s first practice, one of the athletes was feeling symptomatic and was tested. The email sent out by the school does not reveal which team has been affected by the positive tests.
The second student athlete, who was asymptomatic, decided to also get tested after being a close contact with the symptomatic student-athlete.
“Somebody that she carpooled with obviously said I better get tested as well,” said Burr and Burton athletic director Dave Miceli.
Miceli said the athletic department follows the same procedure in regards to a positive test as the rest of the school.
“It’s really the same protocols that are in place for anybody at the school.”
According to the school website any student who tests positive must notify the school nurse.
“The student can return to school after 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared and they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication,” the website reads.
“The athletes who are considered close-contacts are doing their quarantine and testing procedure,” Miceli said. “The rest of the athletes are cleared to participate just like they would be for coming into school.”
The BBA website describes a close-contact as “being within six feet for 15 minutes or more, of someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their infectious period.”
BBA athletes go through a screening process daily before being allowed to participate in any athletic activity. In an instance where a student is learning remotely or if there is no school, the athletes will be screened “at the first point of contact.”
Some BBA athletes who compete in off-campus venues complete multiple screenings before being allowed to practice.
BBAl is working with the facility in which the two COVID positive athletes practiced. Miceli said it “was not a Burr and Burton building.”
Gov. Phil Scott allowed the winter sports season to finally begin practicing individual drills on Saturday after a nearly two-month delay to the season due to high cases of the coronavirus. BBA decided to begin practices, while other local schools like Mount Anthony and Arlington High School have decided to postpone all sports until the end of winter break.
“Certainly we understand that there is COVID in Vermont,” Miceli said. “And so our goals with the strategies that we employ is to minimize the risk.”
“It’s finding the balance between all the good things education based athletics does for students and their development,” Miceli said. “And trying to do that in a manner that’s safe and minimizes risk and transmission should there be a positive person amongst the participants.”
Miceli said the BBA community can help minimize the risk by continuing to follow the health guidelines.
“I think our whole framework for having these rules is with the understanding that there might be people who are contagious who don’t realize it and show up to class, at an athletic event, the grocery store, etc,” Miceli said. “If we follow the distancing guidelines and we follow the face coverings and the hand washing procedures, we’re able to continue these activities while minimizing risk.”