Spring sport athletes face new COVID protocols

Rachel Strong '21, Staff Writer

The spring sports season has started and athletes were thrilled, until it became more of a fear than excitement with having to get rapid tested every Monday morning and worrying about being put into quarantine due to contact tracing.

“I think testing weekly is okay in theory, but the details are skewed,” girls varsity soccer coach Chris Bolio said. “The rapid tests have been known to have accuracy problems, and I feel like some of the rules don’t make much sense.”

According to Bolio, even if an athlete tests negative during the rapid tests, close-contact athletes are still forced to quarantine if they are contact traced.

“I think quarantine due to close contact should be overturned by a negative PCR test,” Bolio said. “I want my players to have the opportunity to play, and by letting them get a test to see if they are negative would give them that opportunity.”

Kennedy Mason ’21 said she didn’t understand why she had to quarantine for 14 days after having a negative PCR test.

“I was sent home on a Monday and was allowed to return to school 10 days later but I wasn’t allowed to play until 14 days later,” Mason said. “I emailed the athletic office to find out why I was allowed to return to school but not allowed to play and all they said was that they sent out an email explaining why, but I still don’t understand.”

Connor Stafford ’23 said he was really upset when he got sent home for 14 days after having a negative rapid test.

“I missed a lot of games while I was out and that was really hard for me,” Stafford said. “I want to be able to play and the close contact rules are ruining that for not only me but a lot of other student athletes, I understand that the school wants to be safe but I think there should be ways around this.”

Stafford said that those vaccinated have to quarantine for 14 days as well. He heard that even if you have the vaccine you still have to quarantine for 14 days.

“Apparently if it’s been two weeks after you get the vaccine you don’t have to have a rapid test weekly but you still have to quarantine if you are in close contact with someone,” Stafford said. “I don’t understand that at all and I think it’s ridiculous that those are the rules.”

According to Bolio there is currently a player in “limbo” on his team and it’s frustrating.

“Having players out due to close contact becomes difficult for not only me but my players,” Bolio said. “I want everyone to feel comfortable on the field and when I have players missing it can be hard to figure out positions and to work out playing time.”

Bolio said he is just happy that the season is happening and his team can play.

“This is the group that lost their entire season last year, while they saw other sports play through the heat of the pandemic,” Bolio said. “Kids need sports, it would have been devastating for them to lose another year.”